A lot appears to ride on how James Molesworth, Wine Spectator senior editor responsible for South Africa, scores Anthonij Rupert 2007 but I suspect we’re dealing with a 95-pointer.
The maiden vintage of a Bordeaux-style red blend from Johann Rupert-owned Anthonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek, it’s clearly intended to be a big ticket item. The wine is being shown for the first time at Cape Wine 2012 and sales and marketing manager Gareth Robertson admits that it will be difficult to be too ambitious in terms of price without the wine picking up some big scores.
No need for Robertson to worry too much. Apart from the influence that Rupert brings to bear, the wine is smart. A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, fruit is mainly from the Franschhoek property but includes a small portion from Darling. In the cellar, the wine spent 24 months in French oak, 100% new.
I found it surprisingly classical in style, finely crafted as you might expect but not too slick. On the nose, notes of red and black fruit plus cigar box while the palate shows good concentration, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Most pleasing is a certain “coolness” about it without any hint of “greenness” and I have no problem scoring it 18/20.