With no less than four Chardonnays and four Pinot Noirs in the Creation portfolio, it is probably fair to say that Cellarmaster Jean-Claude (JC) Martin has a passion for these two cultivars. This passion has just been rewarded in the form of eight Medals of Excellence – scores of 90+ – in Tim Atkin’s recently released South Africa 2021 Special Report. Commenting on this achievement, Carolyn Martin, Marketing Director of the innovative wine estate, says: “Scoring 90+ across our Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs is a proud reflection of our terroir and of course, the skills of our vineyard and cellar teams.”
A British Master of Wine, Tim Atkin is a distinguished wine journalist and an expert on South African wines. His report, now in its ninth edition, is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative overviews of quality South African wines and it is encouraging indeed to read Tim’s comment that South Africa is making some of the greatest wines in its history.
Among the eight Creation wines earning a Medal of Excellence, are three that also qualify for the coveted Gold Medal: the 2020 Art of Creation Pinot Noir at 96 points, the 2020 Creation Glenn’s Chardonnay at 96 points, and the 2020 Art of Creation Chardonnay at 95 points. These three wines are included in Tim’s Wines of the Year.
What follows are some of Tim’s comments on the top eight Creation wines.
2020 The Art of Creation Pinot Noir (96 points): “The Art is a brilliant expression of a single, east facing site that was planted in 2002 with clone 115. Elegant, peppery, scented and refined, with lots of whole bunch spice and texture, subtle reduction, fine tannins and plenty of underlying concentration. The pinnacle of the Creation Pinot Noir output.”
2020 Creation Glenn’s Chardonnay (96 points): “Glenn is Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin’s son, who now has his own wine at Creation. It’s quite a début. Wild yeast fermented, with classically Burgundian struck match notes, wonderful poise and complexity, savoury depths and a taut saline finish. Bravo!”
2020 The Art of Creation Chardonnay (95 points): “The Art has stylishly established itself as one of the best Chardonnays in South Africa since its first vintage in 2013. Sourced from a single block, it’s a full malolactic style fermented in “neutral” new oak that still manages to be focused, pithy and restrained, with lemon zest, vanilla and sea salt flavours.”
2020 Creation Emma’s Pinot Noir (94 points): “If Glenn Martin has his Chardonnay, then sister Emma has her Pinot Noir. Made with fruit from a single 16 year old block it’s a serious, structured style that wouldn’t look out of place in Gevrey-Chambertin, with plenty of colour, black cherry and plum fruit and perfumed, spicy 50% new wood.”
2020 Creation Pinot Noir Reserve (93 points): “. . . this is a blend of mostly clone 115 with 10% 777 from a single 18 year old parcel. Fermented with 60% whole bunches, it’s an intense, structured style with juicy black cherry and raspberry fruit and fine oak.”
2020 Creation Chardonnay Reserve (93 points): “Not far behind The Art in terms of quality – and it’s around a third of the price – this is another single parcel selection from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge with lovely balance and freshness. Aniseed, citrus and cinnamon flavours are complemented by leesy texture.
Remarking on these top ratings for his flagship wines, Cellarmaster JC says one of the joys arising from the estate’s virus-free, now mature vineyards is the ability to produce terroir-expressive wines of ever increasing quality. “It’s rewarding to receive such good feedback from Tim and we’re proud to share the quality of our wines with wine lovers across the world.”