The 2018 Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration which takes place on 26 and 27 January is the fifth annual festival to be held in honour of this Prince of Burgundian Reds.
According to Creation co-owner and marketing director Carolyn Martin the team is pulling out all stops to celebrate its Pinot provenance – from the ideal terroir to the fact that Creation cellarmaster and viticulturist, Jean-Claude (JC) Martin, honed his skills on Pinot while establishing his career way back, in Switzerland.
This year the Estate’s event is titled ‘Burgundy meets Creation’ and features a brunch pairing showing Creation’s award-winning Pinot Noir portfolio along with a special selection from Domaine Philippe Colin in the village of Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy.
To view extracts from last year’s event, click here.
“While looking forward to welcoming Pinot lovers to our Estate, this is also a time for us to reflect on the performance of our Pinot Noir since the first vintage was released some eight years ago,” comments Carolyn. “Our Pinot portfolio now comprises three wines, each brimming with attitude, style and that indefinable secret ingredient that pinophiles find so irresistible.”
Creation [Estate] Pinot Noir
When establishing his Pinot vines, JC meticulously considered aspect, soil and row direction and had the foresight to select only virus-free clones (Dijon 115 and 777) for their suitability to the terroir. His Pinot vineyards are planted on southeasterly, easterly and northeasterly slopes with each site expressing itself in its own stylistic way.
Recent accolades for the Estate Pinot include Platinum at the 2016 South African Wine Index (SAWi) Awards, a Gold Medal at the 2016 Mondial des Pinots for the 2015 vintage and inclusion of the 2015 vintage in the prestigious Top 100 SA Wines list for 2016.
The renowned British author and wine colomnist Jamie Goode recently scored the 2016 Creation Estate Pinot Noir 91 points, remarking: “Clean, pure, floral and fine with nice direct, supple, sweet cherry fruit. Very red fruit[s] in character with nice purity and some structure. Youthful and quite delicious.
Creation Reserve Pinot Noir
Renowned for their elegance and finesse, these vineyard-selection wines reflect JC’s winemaking philosophy of ‘enhancing the beauty of nature’. He firmly believes that when you’re harvesting quality fruit it is not necessary to manipulate the wine. “Rather guide it gently through the winemaking process so as to preserve the sense of place.”
Among the many accolades has been the fact that the 2015 Creation Reserve Pinot was top of the 2017 Winemag.co.za Pinot Noir Report. There were 52 entries from 33 producers and Creation’s top score of 93 points won the estate a barrel of their choice from Tonnellerie Saint Martin.
This is what Greg Sherwood, London-based South African Master of Wine, had to say about the wine: [Creation] 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir is fantastically fragrant with lifted aromatics of spiced cherries, cranberries and pomegranate, laced with a granitic minerality. A really beautiful wine.
Click here for Andreas Larsson’s (2007 World Best Sommelier and widely considered one of the world’s leading wine tasters) comments on the 2015 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir.
Creation Art of Pinot Noir
In the 2018 Platter’s South African Wine Guide only four Pinot Noir wines boast the prestigious five-star rating and the Creation Art of Pinot Noir 2016 is among them. The grapes for this site-specific wine were selected from a small pocket within a single vineyard block. The wine was 30% whole-bunch fermented to capture the freshness of the cool-climate grapes and then only a limited barrel selection was bottled under the Art label.
The many favourable reviews include that of Neal Martin who is a renowned UK wine critic and author as well as a former lead taster of Bordeaux, Burgundy and South African wines for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. He is quoted as saying: The 2015 The Art of Pinot Noir is a barrel selection of the Reserve Pinot Noir. It has a gutsy, quite intense bouquet with crushed strawberry, raspberry and cranberry fruit that blossoms in the glass. Grippy and more assertive with darker fruit than its Hemel-en-Aarde peers, there is a pleasant piquancy on the finish.
Another distinction bestowed upon this wine is a rating of 95 from the authoritative Master of Wine, Tim Atkin in his South Africa 2016 Special Report. He describes the 2015 vintage as: … very European in style, reflecting Jean-Claude Martin’s origins perhaps. Serious, concentrated, yet refreshing and nuanced …