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Nom Pinot noir 2023

– 12 barrels produced by winemaker Jessica Saurwein



Kaaimansgat Vineyard, Elandskloof Valley, Villiersdorp

The soil is shale origin with a significant portion of granite in the topsoil and clay throughout. This vineyard lies at 700 m above sea-level and is surrounded by tall mountains, making for a unique terroir ideal for the optimal ripening of this cultivar. Pinot noir clones 115, 667 & 777. The vineyard was planted in 2008.


Vintage 2023:

This was a superb vintage with good conditions for set and ripening. The wine is graceful and poised. The tannin is silky, medium-grained and is supported by fresh acidity, which brings the desired tension and a sense of weightlessness.



Grapes are hand-picked, hand-sorted, grapes are cold-soaked, fermentation is spontaneous, post-fermentation maceration is complete when the tannins are optimal and the wine spent 10 months in 228 liter French oak barrels (26% new and older). My approach is as minimal intervention as possible.


Descriptors of the nose:

Mixed red and dark berry fruit, rose hip, lifted cocoa, typical and the unique orange rind character imparted by the vineyard site.


Descriptors of the flavour & palate:

Red and black cherry fruit, umami, roasted chestnuts, silky medium grained tannins, balanced acidity and the wine will gather further complexity with age. I feel like making a Tom-Yum soup every time I taste this wine, as the salty savour longs for the fruit of the Nom Pinot. Drink: 2023 – 2033


The story:

Nom stands for nombulelo (gratitude in “Xhosa”) and Nomkhubulwane (a forgotten African goddess of agriculture). Situated at 700m altitude, the vineyard is a place where gratitude is instilled and tales appear.


Alcohol: 13,5 %



Find all other Nom Pinot noir vintages here


Nom Pinot noir Ratings & Accolades


"W.O. Elandskloof. Red and black cherry, some flinty reduction and floral perfume on the nose while the palate possesses a great core of fruit, bright acidity and pleasantly firm tannins. More concentrated and forceful than Om but perhaps more obvious, too." – 94/100 points, Christian Eedes,

“Using raw material from vines at 700 metres in the celebrated Elandskloof site, Nom is a superb Pinot Noir that combines clones 115, 667 and 777 on shale soils. Spicy, racy, pure and intense, with meaty tannins, layers of bramble, red berry and wild herbs and very fine tannins. A Pinot Noir producer to watch.” - 95/100 points, Tim Atkin MW, Drink: 2022-2030

“… the palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit, fine acidity, understated at first but builds in the mouth towards a caressing and very harmonious finish. Nice tartness and sapidity on the aftertaste here. Excellent.” 92/100 points, Neal Martin |

“Name means gratitude. Less sweet-fruited on the nose and more spicy/peppery than the Om Pinot. Fresh and spicy on the palate too. Tannins are finely chewy and very well handled so that they provide structure and a framework that fits the fruit.” – 16.5/20, Julia Harding, Drink 2024– 2028


“The 2020 Pinot Noir Nom has a complex, delineated bouquet with cranberry, pomegranate and light sous-bois scents coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, not deep but very pure, with piquant red cherry fruit and a lightly spiced finish. This will be difficult to resist in its youth.” – Neal Martin, 91 points

“Priced just below its sibling Om, Nom is (just) the better of the two wines in 2020. Fresh, graceful and perfumed, it’s like a Cape Chambolle-Musigny, with haunting perfume, fine grained, savoury tannins, red cherry and raspberry fruit and engaging freshness.” – Tim Atkin MW, 95/100 points, Drink: 2022-27

“The 2020 Pinot Noir shows an abundance of depth and intensity with aromatics brimming with notes of savoury red cherry, red currant, sappy freshly cut hedgerow and earthy, bramble berry spice nuances. The oak is incredibly well integrated and plays very much a minor backing track support role. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied but dense, wonderfully intense yet simultaneously weightless, fleshy and powerful with delicious savoury red and black berry fruits, ripe sun raisined sloe berries, roasted nuts, hints of wild strawberry and a full, opulent mouth coating finish with finely poised tannins and delightfully balanced acids. Another very detailed, opulent, savoury expression of Pinot Noir from the Cape. Drink this on release and over the next 8 to 10 years.” – Greg Sherwood MW, 94/100 points

“Very fragrant aromatics with notes of rose, musk and spice before plum and red cherry. The palate is luscious – nice fruit weight, moderate acidity and soft, powdery tannins.” 91/100, Christian Eedes,


“‘Gratitude’ in Xhosa, from high-lying Elandskloof vines. Understated, beautifully balanced, with vivacious fruit in a fine structure. Like Om, spontaneous ferment, 25% new oak, ‘head-to-toe’ vinification (using both press & free-run fractions). Intensity augurs well.” 93/100, David Swingler, Platter’s Wine Guide 2021

“If you want structure and focus in your Pinot noir, Elandskloof is a very good place to start. Savoury, grippy and intense, this is a very smart red from Jessica Saurwein with spicy, herbal undertones, layers of red berry fruit and a fine, refreshing finish.” 94/100, 2022-27, Tim Atkin Special Report 2020


“It’s hard to think of a bad wine from the shale-based Kaaimansgat Vineyard in Elandskloof and this is right up there with the best Pinot Noirs from the site. Serious, concentrated and focused, with savoury tannins, layers of black cherry and raspberry fruit and skilfully integrated 20% new wood. 2021-28” – 94/100, Tim Atkin, South African Special Report 2019

Recommended as Wine of the Week: “Two ground-breaking South African creations” – MoneyWeek by Matthew Jukes September 2019

“Compare and contrast with the 2017 tasted as a standalone. This is further inland, and therefore presumably higher, than the vineyard responsible for her Om bottling. Bright cherry red. Fruit is very slightly raw on the nose. Lots of charm and brightness on the palate however. Fairly precise but definitely local rather than Burgundian! 13.5% Drink 2019 – 2024” – 16,5/20, Jancis Robinson, New Wave South Africa 2019


“Jessica Saurwein seems to grow ever more assured when it comes to the making of her Nom Pinot Noir, the 2017 being her third vintage. From Kaaimansgat grapes, the nose has a musky top note before red and black fruit, herbs and oak spice while the palate displays good fruit density, fresh acidity and fine tannins. It’s a composed, carefully made wine which carries its 14.5% alcohol well.”- 91/100, Christian Eedes

92/100, Tim Atkin, South African Special Report

91/100, Wine Enthusiast


From Decanter Magazine: Nom Pinot noir rated as one of the Top 50 most exciting Wines of 2018

“Pale, delicate and scented with cool earth and soft rosehip. Mellow strawberry fruit and a dusting of fresh summer earth.” – 93/100, Oz Clarke

“Very pale Pinot but not in the least pale in flavour. Bursting with cherry juice, enriched with cocoa and fine herbs. Long, juicy finish. A very popular style.” – 92/100, Sarah Jane Evans MW

“Gentle pomegranate aromas. Quite lean and tart cranberry and sour cherry fruit on the palate, with high acidity and a leafy edge. Firm, subtle and savoury.” – 90/100, Tina Gellie

Other ratings:

“The 2016 Nom Pinot Noir has a not dissimilar bouquet to the 2015 with vivid red cherries and wild strawberry scents, perhaps demonstrating not quite the same level of intensity (but not far off). The palate is tight as you might expect with firm tannin, a little wilder than the 2015 perhaps with darker fruit towards the wild fennel-tinged finish. This has great potential, though it clearly requires another six month to really express itself.” – 90/100, Neal Martin,

“Jessica Saurwein’s Pinot is now in its second vintage, made with fruit grown at 700 metres in Elandskloof. It’s a floral, delicate, appealing style that’s more Chambolle-Musigny than Pommard. Raspberry, red cherry and a hint of tomato skin, with some subtle spice from partial whole bunch fermentation. 2018-21” – 90/100, Tim Atkin, South African Special Report

“This Pinot Noir possesses the most clear translucent ruby red colour almost resembling a glass of cranberry juice. But what lies in the glass is far more seductive and complex than mere fruit juice! The aromatics are perfumed and beautifully lifted, slowly revealing notes of sun dried cranberries, red cherries, pithy red plum skins, bloed lemoen and a hint of dusty crushed gravel with a pinch of wood spice seasoning. The mouthfeel too shows great precision, seamless purity and finesse but not at the expense of intensity and core tension. The melange of pure crystalline red fruits follows to the palate, all delivered with great restraint and subtlety. The 2016 shows the character of the dry vintage with more core tannin structure, dry extract and mineral nuances than the lush, opulent, more fruit forward 2015 maiden release. But this is no bad thing. The wine is delicious but serious, bordering on intellectual even, and allows the drinker time to ponder its breadth and depth. The finish is super elegant, dare I say feminine?, leaving your mouth savouring the most succulent earthy red cherry, ruby grapefruit and pomegranate fruit notes on the finish. Give this wine a few more years in the cellar to unwind a little more and then drink comfortably over 10 to 12+ years.” – 92/100, Greg Sherwood MW

“The Nom Pinot Noir 2016 from Jessica Saurwein is a step up on her maiden vintage 2015. From the same Kaaimansgat vineyard near Villiersdorp, it’s light but vivid in colour. On the nose, red fruit – currant and cherry – plus subtle vanilla. The palate is intensely flavoured but not weighty – focused and all of a piece. A good core of fruit, nice line of acidity and a lovely lattice work of tannins. Some white pepper on the finish adds interest.” – 90/100, Christian Eedes


“The 2015 Nom Pinot Noir is the maiden release from trained oenologist Jessica Saurwein, whose day-job is working at Kleinood in Stellenbosch. The fruit is sourced from Kaaimansgat, Elandskloof Valley and Villiersdorp on clay-rich granite soils. Tasted on two occasions, this marks a very promising debut. This Pinot conveys a sense of brightness on the nose: bing cherries, strawberries, blood orange and a touch of vanilla. The palate is nicely balanced, quite Côte de Nuits in style with fine tannins and pretty red fruit on the finish. What it might lack in complexity it compensates with in terms of energy and harmony, two key elements of fine Pinot Noir. This is well worth seeking out, though just three barrels were produced. I look forward to more!” – 92/100, Neal Martin

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