Some nice South African wines

So as well as judging (which is totally blind – we don’t even know the identity of the wines that have entered the competition), we’re managing to try some wine in our time off here at the Top 100 competition.

The highlight has probably been the Rustenberg Peter Barlow 1996 – a serious Bordeaux-style blend of finesse and purity. Everyone loved it.

Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc, in both the 2004 and 2005, was brilliant, ageing beautifully in a linear direction. Fabulous.

Quoin Rock The Nicobar counts among the very best South African whites that I’ve yet tried. Lovely precise grapefruit notes with some textural richness and brilliantly integrated oak. This is a serious wine.

Ataraxia Chardonnay: rich and ripe, yet fresh and linear at the same time. Quite impressive, with potential for development.

Cederberg Private Cellar Cape Winemakers Guild Semillon: a fresh, intense style with some pithiness and lovely concentration. Some interest here.

5 comments to Some nice South African wines

  • Kwispedoor

    Nice wines. The Rustenberg is from the days before winemakers became obsessed with (over-)ripeness…

    That brilliant Nicobar (one of the very few SA Sauvignons ever with real blackcurrant fruits) sadly seems to be a bit of a once-off… There was no 2008 and the grapes for the 2009 comes from somewhere else entirely – nowhere near the exilharating result of the 2007.

  • What are the price points on those?

  • keith prothero

    Agreed all lovely wines and any of them could be in a Top 100 list.
    Incidentally Jamie, I picked up 6 bottles of the brilliant and now very rare Rustenberg 82 and 87 at auction in Belfast for an unbelievably low figure——-great levels etc.
    Rustenberg is I believe the best wine made in the Cape,and has been for many years.

  • GREG SHERWOOD MW

    Etienne Le Riche, ex-wine maker at Rustenberg famously listed the 1982 Rustenberg as his dream millennium wine if he could have anything, way back in 1999 I think. I have a magnum in my cellar in SA bought at auction. Friends bought the accompanying mag of 82 and it was drunk around 2000/2001. It was excellent. A true SA legend.

  • Kwispedoor

    That ’82 Rustenberg had BIG chunks of sediment – nom-nom!

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