Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2005

Winter warmer.

Winter warmer.

When to start drinking your Vintage Reserve Port-style wines? “10 to 15 years down the line, depending on vintage,” says Carel Nel of Boplaas in Calitzdorp.

Current release from this cellar is the 2009 (R250 a bottle) so way too early to broach but definitely worth investing in. A blend of 80% Touriga Nacional, 18% Tinta Barocca and 9% Souzao, it shows red and black berries, spice and lovely floral top note. Concentrated fruit, bright acidity and firm but fine tannins, it’s big but balanced. Score: 90/100.

The Vintage Reserve 2005 was also on show, entirely from Calitzdorp grapes while the 2009 is W.O. Western Cape. Whereas the 2009 is all about controlled power, the 2005 is very elegant – more medium bodied and possessing finer tannins. I thought it was superb and scored it 93/100.

If you want a Port to get you through Winter 2014, then the Reserve 2003 is available at R1 200 a bottle. It’s definitely ready to drink with some nuttiness now showing, the tannins nicely resolved. Score: 89/100.

The realisation has dawned at Boplaas that the market for table wines is much bigger than that for Port and there some smart additions to the range. I particularly like the Touriga Nacional Reserve 2012 (R125 a bottle) which features grapes from Calitzdorp, Stellenbosch and Wellington and spent 18 months in barrel, 50% new. It shows blue and black fruit – very dense with a super-dry finish. Score: 89/100.

Also very appealing if not as serious is the Cape Portuguese White Blend 2014 (R40 a bottle) made from 50% Verdelho, 27% Chardonnay and 23% Sauvignon Blanc. It’s clean and fresh with a lovely pithy finish and cries out for a plate of sardines. Score: 84/100.

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