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De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2011

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A keeper.
A keeper.

De Krans managing director Boets Nel and Louis van der Riet insist that there’s more to this Calitzdorp winery than Port-style wines and yesterday showed a variety of their unfortified stuff.

First up, four entry-level wines made up of Free-Run Chenin Blanc 2015, Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay 2014, Moscato Perlé 2015 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. All R55 a bottle and all sound if not particularly complex.

Next, three wines featuring Portuguese varieties: Tinta Roriz 2013 (85 points) and Touriga Nacional 2013 (88 points) were smart enough (both R85 a bottle) while the maiden vintage 2011 of the blend known as Tritonia (R150 a bottle) was properly impressive. Consisting of 70% Touriga Naçional, 20% Tinta Barocca and 10% Tinta Roriz, I scored 89/100 a year ago but I think it’s moving in a really pleasing direction and gave it 91/100 this time around.

The fortifieds remain where it’s at for De Krans, however.

The Cape Vintage 2013 offers extraordinarily good value at R89 a bottle. It was rated 4½ Stars in the 2015 edition of Platter’s and you can see why. Red fruit, a floral note and spice on the nose while the palate is medium bodied (for this category) with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Precisely made, I scored it 91/100.

The real point of interest of the day was the 2011 and 2012 vintages of the Cape Vintage Reserve side by side (both R275 a bottle). Tasting notes and scores as follows:

Cape Vintage Reserve 2011
Climatic conditions: warm with even ripening
Approximately 60% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Barocca and 10% Tinta Roriz. Red and black fruit, dried flowers and spice. Lovely purity, balance and length.

Score: 93/100.

Cape Vintage Reserve 2012
Climatic conditions: difficult with rain and hail
Approximately 85% Touriga Nacional and 15% Tinta Barocca. A brooding nose showing black fruit plus subtle notes of spice, chocolate and earth. Huge intensity with sleek tannins. Powerful but not quite as complete as the 2011.

Score: 92/100.

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