Some lovely older South African wines

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So I arrived here in St James, Cape Town, South Africa, in time for lunch. It was with the other judges of the Top 100 competition that I am participating in, and it was accompanied by some older South African wines.

We began with decade-old Sauvignon. These are wines you wouldn’t have expected to age well. But these bottles were lovely. They were followed up by a selection of older reds, most of which showed really well too.

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Springfield Estate Life From Stone Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Robertson, South Africa
Powerful green herbal notes but these have integrated well, to create a seamless, textured wine with some crystalline fruit quality and just a hint of mushroom. Surprisingly delicious: I wouldn’t have expected a methoxypyrazine dominated wine like this to have aged so well. 90/100

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Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc Vineyard Selection Groenekloof 2004 South Africa
Lovely rich texture here with sweet pear, spice, peach and toast notes. Intense, quite rich, textured and ripe. 92/100

Cape Point Isleidh 2004 South Africa
Amazing wine: toasty and rich but with fine grapefruit and sweet quince, pear and peach notes. Toasty and bold yet delicate at the same time. 93/100
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Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Constantia, South Africa
Very fresh and pure with some nice green herby notes as well as lemon and grapefruit. Nice precision and good texture. 90/100

Steeenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Constantia, South Africa
Some green herbal notes with citrus and a subtle toasty character. 89/100
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Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc 2004 South Africa
Fresh with some green herby notes, lovely texture and a bit of toastiness. There’s precision and freshness to this wine. Nice depth. 91/100

Rust en Vrede Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 Stellenbosch, South Africa
13% alcohol. Sweet, warm and cedary with a hint of earth and spice. Really smart and elegant with smoothness and sweetness. 92/100

Cordoba Crescendo 1998 Stellenbosch, South Africa
13.5% alcohol, a Cabernet Franc-dominated wine. Sweet, cedary, spicy and warm with powerful blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Warm, attractive and spicy with nice depth. 91/100
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Cederberg V Generations 2004 Cederberg, South Africa
14% alcohol. 100% new French oak. Sweet blackcurrant fruit nose with herb and tobacco notes. Rich, warm, spicy palate with smooth tannins and lots of berryish fruit. A ripe, seamless style. 91/100

Meerlust Rubicon 2001 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Sweet, warm and spicy with powerful blackcurrant bud and blackberry notes, as well as some tar. Warm and intense with nice tannic grip. A powerful wine that’s still youthful and a bit angular. 92/100
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Rustenberg Peter Barlow 1999 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Dense, sweet and ripe with blackcurrant and berry fruit, with a spicy undercurrent. 90/100

Rustenberg John X Merriman 1999 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is in a good place at the moment and outperforms its big brother. Floral and aromatic with fresh blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, with a hint of leafiness. Amazing silky texture. 93/100

Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Stellenbosch, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Full, gravelly with blackcurrant and sweet berry fruits. Some grip, too. 91/100

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Jordan CWG Sophia 2006 Stellenbosch, South Africa
13.5% alcohol, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot. Fresh, gravelly, with lovely bright blackcurrant fruit. Really dense, precise and pure with nice weight and real finesse. 93/100
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Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2000 Constantia, South Africa
Bronze/gold colour. Sweet, concentrated, bold and rich with spice, raisins, tea leaves, herbs, apricots and honey. Complex and textured, this is lovely. 95/100

2 comments to Some lovely older South African wines

  • keith prothero

    No reason to be surprised. IMHO,Most well made wine no matter from which country,improves with bottle age.
    Had a 91 Kaapzicht riesling with Remington Norman and David Wainwright that tasted like an outstanding mature Alsace riesling. Pity they have subsequently scrubbed the vines.
    Get an invite to Remingtons pad on Erinvale,if you want to taste mature Cape wine. He has an amazing cellar and regularly fools visiting professional wine writers ,who believe the wine they are tasting is a great old world wine

  • 99 Peter Barlow probably a bad bottle.

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