Located in Stellenbosch's Lower Helderberg, Scions of Sinai was founded by Bernhard Bredell in 2016. Having grown up on a wine farm and subsequently working in wineries in both France and Spain, Bredell has always felt the desire to give back to his roots. He focuses on using natural methods and minimal intervention in the cellar to ensure the wines maintain authenticity to the vines and their roots.
Why the name, "Scions of Sinai"? Scion, in biology, refers to the upper part of the vine or a young shoot. In old English, scion also means descendant. Sinai refers to Sinai Hill, the foothill of the lower Helderberg, where the Bredells have farmed with old dryland bush-vines for generations. From Sinai Hill, Bernhard sees both himself and his old bush-vines as the Scions of Sinai - descendants of this unique terroir.
In a nutshell: A small production, low intervention, fresh Chenin Blanc from the Lower Helderberg area of Stellenbosch. The lowdown: Only 1044 bottles of this excellent 2019 Chenin Blanc were made by South African rising star winemaker Bernhard Bredell. Sustainability and low intervention are his methods in the vineyard, in this case, a tiny 0.5-hectare plot of dry-farmed bush vines planted on the Sinai Hill slopes close to the sea, and "guidance" is his watchword in the winery, preserving a sense of place in the wine. 2019 produced small berries for this Chenin with fantastic, zippy, natural acidity with lovely elegance. There are aromas of ripe citrus and stone fruits with minerally notes leading onto a fresh and rounded palate with lovely crisp acidity, ripe fruit flavours and a fresh finish. A very accomplished wine but due to the very small amount we have if you like it that might be it! 95/100 - Tim Atkin MW When to drink: Drinking well now but as with Chenin Blanc, and well-made Chenin with good acidity, it will keep and evolve.
In a nutshell: A young, fresh, very limited production 'boutique' Syrah from near Stellenbosch. The lowdown: This vibrant, small production, single-vineyard Syrah from Lower Helderberg in southern Stellenbosch is made by Bernhard Bredell, one of South Africa's rising star winemakers. Sustainable viticulture with minimal intervention is Bernhard's philosophy with emphasis placed on a sense of place with gentle "guidance" in the winery. A tiny 0.5-hectare plot produces the 1204 bottles of this highly rated 2019 vintage (Tim Atkin MW 94/100 points) and we have been lucky enough to get our hands on a small amount of those cases. Fresh and aromatic on the nose, elegant and refined on the palate with blackberry, blackcurrant and red cherry fruits, notes of rosemary and wet granite, and a spicy touch. When to drink: Grilled lamb chops, pork belly or grilled vegetables.
In a nutshell: Tiny production, sustainable, single-vineyard Grenache Blanc. The lowdown: Made by Bernhard Bredell, a rising star in South African winemaking, with a very much sustainable, low intervention approach who, in his description, 'guides' rather than makes the wine in the winery, preserving a sense of place in the wine. The tiny 0.5 hectares Grenache Blanc vineyard is located, essentially, in the middle of nowhere (Gramadoelas is an African expression for 'middle of nowhere') out in the Klein Karoo far to the east of the Western Cape where it is dry and arid with shale and schist soils. But, the grapes here turn out fresh and refined; elegant. Aromas of citrus and white flowers lead onto a textural and soft palate with stone fruits and minerally notes and touches of spice backed by fresh, balanced acidity. Only 576 bottles made. 92/100 - Tim Atkin MW When to drink: Drinking wonderfully now and would work with shellfish and whitefish as well as lighter white meat dishes.
In a nutshell: An elegant and naturally vinified Pinotage from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The lowdown: A unique, sustainably and dry-farmed, old bush vine, single vineyard Pinotage and the closest grown to the ocean made by one of South Africa's rising star winemakers. 'Feniks' is the Afrikaans word for Phoenix and refers to the renewed interest in a lighter style of Pinotage. The fruit for this is from dry-farmed bush vines which are over 45 years old and vinification is as natural as possible with only trace amounts of sulphur being used. The nose is fragrant and floral with notes of wild berries and melons. On the palate, it's light but lengthy with a savoury minerality. Only a tiny 864 bottles of the 2019 vintage were made. 94/100 - Tim Atkin MW When to drink: A really interesting and multi-faceted 'new wave' style of Pinotage.