Lunch with some interesting back-vintage South African wines

Higgo Jacobs, Richard Kershaw, Tim Atkin, Monty Waldin and Robin von Holdt

Some notes from the Top 100 South African Wines judges’ welcome lunch last Sunday, here at Rodwell House, St James.

It was a relaxed affair and Robin brought out quite a few older vintages of some rather good South African wines. A good start to the week, which now seems a long time ago!

Robin von Holdt and Duncan Savage

Silverthorn Genie Rosé 2009 Methode Cape Classique, South Africa
Attractive pale pink with taut, spicy, toasty apple and pear fruit with a bit of red cherry character. Complex and stylish. 90/100

Delaire Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Matured 2001 Stellenbosch, South Africa
An interesting older oaked Sauvignon, this is tight and citrussy with some toasty richness and a bit of grip. Interesting wax and herb notes with a hint of petrol. A lovely wine drinking well now. 92/100

Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2004 South Africa
This was from Duncan Savage’s greener phase, and it shows green herb and green pepper notes. But it’s fresh and pure with nice citrus and pear fruit, with a touch of whisky character. Ageing nicely. 92/100

Cederberg Generations V Chenin Blanc 2004 South Africa
Complex and taut with some dairy creaminess and nice toasty notes alongside the fresh pear fruit. Ageing nicely. 91/100

Jean Daneel Chenin Blanc 2004 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Toasty, intense and rugged with some whisky and spice notes. The palate is taut and spicy with crystalline fruits and some mineral, struck match notes. Complex and intense with lots of character. 93/100

Eikendal Cabernet Sauvignon Cape Winemakers’ Guild 1996 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Savoury and elegant (13% alcohol) with notes of herbs, fresh mint and smooth, supple berry fruits. Fresh and a bit minty with precision and elegance. 93/100

Cederberg Cape Winemakers’ Guild Teen Die Hog Shiraz 2006 South Africa
Weighing in at 15% alcohol, this is perhaps a bit too ripe. But it is well made and the fruit is good. Lush, sweet, pure liqueur-like blackberry fruit with some menthol notes. Intense and ripe. 90/100

Neil Ellis Cape Winemakers’ Guild Auction Reserve 2000 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Complex, spicy and herby with nicely defined blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Stylish effort. 92/100

Laurensford L3 Cape Winemakers’ Guild 2003 South Africa
Stylish and smooth with some grippy, chalky notes as well as sweet plum and blackberry fruit. Smooth texture and nice fresh fruit. 93/100

Buitenverwachting Christine 2003 Constantia, South Africa
Spicy and warm with some structure and a bit of spice. Savoury and gravelly with peppery notes alongside the sweet fruit. 90/100

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