Robert Parker 96
The 2014 Columella comes in a 13.65% alcohol, the lowest since 2000 according to Eben Sadie. “I am not looking for a wine that necessarily goes BOOM when it’s first shown…I want a wine to age. There is no new oak now used during the élevage. When we look chemically at this wine, it is much more age-worthy than what we were making in 2010: there is a lot more CO2, the tannins are around 30% less ripe, a combination of the picking date and the grape variety, which makes them more oxygen stable.” It has a brooding bouquet with brambly black fruit, briary, wild heather and cold stoney aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red and black fruit, very well balanced with crisp but firm tannins. The fruit feels blacker than previous vintages, a little more salinity towards the finish that conveys a subtle marine influence. It is a more introspective take on Columella, but this lends it an intellectual rather than hedonistic bent that I think was not a characteristic of the wine in its earlier vintages.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2040