Over the weekend, two wines from Wellington producer Bosman Family Vineyards designated as “Special Vineyard Selection”, meaning that they were made from grapes harvested from older vineyards which over decades have proved to produce superior quality.
Bosman Family Vineyards Optenhorst Chenin Blanc 2011
From a vineyard planted in 1952 and said to be the fourth oldest in the country. Partial spontaneous fermentation in 228-litre French oak barrels (only one out of eight new) and then maturation in barrel for nine months, all old.
A classic example of South African old-vine Chenin. Citrus, yellow peach, honey and intriguing waxy, leesy notes. Rich and full but there’s also nicely coated, really zippy acidity. Has real gravitas about it.
Bosman Family Vineyards Pinotage 2011
From a vineyard planted in 1994. Matured for 12 months in 60% 500-litre French oak barrels and 40% 225-litre American oak barrels. Red and black cherry but also plenty of oak-derived character – vanilla, coffee and char. Super-concentrated, somewhat tart acidity and smooth textured. Dark chocolate-like bitterness on the finish. This wine pulls no punches – no doubt it will have its fans, but too much for me.