The fifth annual Wine Judging Academy run by Wine magazine in conjunction with leading wine critic Michael Fridjhon was held this past weekend, its aim since inception being to help raise the standard of local wine judging.
During a module presented by international guest lecturer Peter McCombie MW, the Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2005 was poured in a flight of top wooded Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc blends, other wines including Chamonix Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Strandveld Adamastor 2009, Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2009 and Quoin Rock Oculus 2007.
The Isliedh 2005 is nothing if not highly decorated having won the trophies for best wooded white blend and best white wine overall at the 2006 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show before being rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2007. Drama, then, when the bottle poured at the Academy appeared well past its best. Very much a rarity now, there was no second bottle available and the 2009 had to substitute.
Anxious that our few remaining bottles of 2005 might have expired, we opened one last night and I am delighted to report that what was encountered at the Academy appears to be an abnormality, the product of “random bottle oxidation” to use the catch-all term for older wines that mysteriously aren’t up to scratch. Our 2005 was in excellent nick, no longer primary but neither showing any signs of decay. I suspect it is a wine set to become the stuff of legend much like the Sauvignon Blanc 1986 and Blanc de Blanc 1987 from Klein Constantia.