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Emerging from the Wave - Waving, not Drowning

Posted by MLC on

A most excellent trade tasting held at Apero Bistro on K’Road in Auckland last night. 

Produce of some of the Movers and Shakers of the South African winemaking scene: @Sadiefamily, @Blake Family Wines, @Savagewines, @Beyerskloofwines, @Cederberg Wines and the 1990 and 2008 vintages of Klein Constantia Vin de Constance. For many tasters this was their first foray into South African white wines other than Chenin Blanc.

Cederberg Bukettraube: a cross between Sylvaner and Trollinger, rare in its home Germany. Flavourful and zingy, sweet 24g/l with great acid giving a clean finish.

Savage White: 45% sauvignon blanc, 44% semillon; subtle, superb texture

Sequillo White: chenin blanc, clairette blanche, viognier, verdelho, palomino blend - subtle, mineral, complex

Kokerboom 2013:this wine is one of the individual old vine series of Sadie Family Wines. Rare as hen’s teeth. The favourite wine of the evening. A blend of semillon gris (a mutation of semillon) and semillon. Very old vines from the Swartland. Elegant,refined, looong finish.

Reyneke Bio-dynamic Syrah: peppery, tight, needs time

Savage Red: syrah, grenache, mourvedre, cinsault. Old vine material from Swartland and fruit from other regions across the Western Cape. Elegant with layers of complexity.

Blake Family Amethyst: shiraz, pinotage, cabernet sauvignon. The wine that split the group. 24 months in new French oak barrels. BIG oak on the palate. Very ripe. For some the favourite and for some the least favourite. A timely reminder that we are buying/offering what the CUSTOMER desires….

Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage: Named after Beyers Truter’s dog. Beyers was the first winemaker at Kanonkop and blunted his pinotage teeth there. This wine takes no prisoners Big everything and distinctively pinotage on the nose. A selection of only 20 barrels of a total of 300 were used to make this wine.

Vin de Constance 1990: Tom was concerned that this wine would be past it. I tried to reassure him …. The wine had turned amber, even browning. Slight mustiness blew off quickly, leaving an unctuous yet delicate palate. Muscat fruit with layers of complexity. A sign of an iconic wine.

Vin de Constance 2008: Far too young, showing the restraint of a vegetarian in a butcher’s. Needs another 10 years at least before it relaxes. But certainly worth purchasing and cellaring now as there will be no 2008 available in 10 years.

Conclusion: South Africa is a country that is worth watching in terms of winemaking. And not only for the well-known (and sometimes maligned) red wines but the superb quality of the whites.

My take on this: it serves to show how old vines are a national treasure and should never be uprooted. Accountants, please take note.


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