Delheim Edelspatz 2020 Continues Legacy of Excellence with Platter’s 5 Star-rating
Edelspatz, the icon Noble Late Harvest Riesling from Simonsberg wine estate Delheim, reaffirmed its status as one of South Africa’s leading Noble Late offerings by securing a five-star rating in the 2023 Platter’s Wine Guide, the country’s leading guide to ratings of Cape wines.
The top five-star rating was for Delheim’s Edelspatz Riesling 2020, made from a Riesling vineyard block situated on the estate’s Simonsberg terroir planted in 1985 that has been officially endorsed with Certified Heritage Vineyard status.
Edelspatz was first made by Delheim patriarch Spatz Sperling from the 1979 vintage and has garnered local and international claim as one of South Africa’s leading examples of the quality Noble Late Harvest wines which has become one of the Cape wine industry’s features.
“This year Platter’s judged over 8 000 wines, only 196 of which managed to claim five-star status,” says Delheim winemaker Roelof Lotriet. “Being one of these is a true honour, as the general quality of South African wine improves annually at a time in which the country is making some of the best wines in its history. To see one of Delheim’s classic wines, namely Edelspatz, making it to the podium underscores the continued commitment to excellence we at Delheim embrace as a non-negotiable part of our ethos.”
The Edelspatz Riesling vineyard is rooted in three hectares of Delheim’s Simonsberg soils comprising ancient decomposed granite, and the vineyard is exclusively managed for the making of this style of wine.
“The 2020 vintage provided near-perfect conditions for botrytis (noble rot) to develop on the grapes, as the Simonsberg experienced a good dose or rain in the summer of 2019 and 2020,” says Lotriet. By April the grapes were clouded over by the pale grey fungus, a distressing sight to someone not familiar to this magical natural part of wine farming. Anticipating the Edelspatz pick is a waiting game as you want good rot, and some years we harvest this block in June. However, by the end of May 2020 I felt the combination between botrytis and concentration in the berries was at the perfect sweet spot for picking.”
As is the case in a botrytis vineyard, yields are meagre with the three hectares of Riesling destined for Edelspatz delivering a total four tons of grapes from vintage 2020.
The grapes are whole-bunch pressed, followed by fermentation and aging in older French oak barrels for nine months.
“Riesling is the world’s great grape for Noble Late Harvest, as generations of German winemakers have shown for centuries,” says Lotriet. “The variety’s firm acidity and vivid fruit-driven profile allow for the characteristic expression of honeyed fruit and life-affirming freshness for which this style of wine is known. As this style of wine ages, it draws a darker colour with growing complexity featuring hints of dates, spice and marmalade. Sweet, but never cloying or dense, Noble Late Harvest is to my mind one of the world’s great wines, Riesling being the optimal expression of botrytis style.”
The Platter’s five-star rating follows on a 95pt score from Tim Atkin MW in his 2022 South Africa report.
On Behalf of Delheim Wines
By : Mediavision