Seven Springs wine from South Africa has come a long way since I first wrote about them (in a Wine Passionista exclusive) back in 2010, but it comes as no surprise to me. Tim Pearson is a passionate fellow and Seven Springs is his baby. Tim, the owner of a cleaning company in Warwickshire, shared with his wife Vaughan, a dream of making wine in South Africa, and they have realized that dream to resounding success.
They started with a sole wine – a Sauvignon Blanc. Now they’ve added a Chardonnay (two in fact – with and without oak), Pinot Noir and Syrah. They’re all from brand new baby vines, and are excellent wines!
Pinot Noir is one of my favourite varieties so I was excited to try Tim’s first one. I cracked open a bottle of the 2011 Seven Springs Pinot Noir during the inaugural episode of The Punch Down, a wine show I’m co-hosting with 1 Wine Dude, Joe Roberts. We each chose a wine to sip during the program and seeing as the show is broadcast at 6pm here, I felt it was an opportune time to enjoy what I expected would be a light, fruity, well-made red – I wasn’t disappointed!
Our guest on the show that night was Eric Asimov, Chief Wine Critic of the New York Times, and as Joe and I were sharing the wines we’d chosen, I mentioned I was friends with Tim whose wine this was. Eric posited an interesting theory that perhaps I like the wine even more than I would usually because of my friendship with Tim. A very valid point as I’m sure it’s been known to happen, and even though I do think Tim is a super person and I’m extremely impressed with the way he has built his brand, not only through social media, but by establishing real relationships with all of us wine peeps (well done Tim!), if I didn’t think the wine was good – I’d say so. That’s what friends do. But with this wine, no such conversation was needed – the wine is delicious!
Tim and his energetic, young, smart and very capable South African wine maker Riana van der Merwe, have produced a wine that is lively yet soft, with typical Pinot Noir earthy tones and bright red fruit. Yes, it’s young, but you can already see how this wine, from this place (Hemel-en-Aarde) so suited to Pinot Noir, is going to grow into a serious contender over the next few years. I for one, look forward to its evolution.
Here’s to trying something new, learning something new and enjoying every glass a whole lot more!
Tara – Wine Passionista
By the way, The Punch Down is now available on iTunes as a downloadable audio or video podcast! Click here to subscribe for free. Next episode coming in January!