Yesterday the opportunity to participate in the first of three tastings to be held around the country, the combined outcome of which will determine the final blend of the 2011 vintage of Bordeaux-style red blend Fusion V from Stellenbosch property De Toren.
De Toren convenes such tastings every year, inviting a variety of wine professionals as well as consumers to participate. Our group was 11 strong and we had a line-up of 14 wines, including 12 potential blends for the 2011 plus the final versions of 2007 and 2009, which we were asked to taste blind with a view to nominating our three most preferred wines.
Quite remarkably one wine, no. 13 in the line-up, emerged a clear favourite with five of the group including winemaker Charles Williams and myself having it as their most preferred wine while cellarmaster Albie Koch had it as his second most preferred. The blend, for interest’s sake, consisted of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 11.6% each of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot. Fusion V, for me, is always in a very lush, polished style but this was relatively elegant and understated.
My third most preferred blend consisted of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.9% Malbec, 12.7% Merlot, 13.6% Cabernet Franc and 4.25% Petit Verdot (100.45% in total?) and according to Koch, these respective percentages representing the long-term average over the 12 vintages from the maiden 1999 to 2010. It didn’t get much support from anybody else, however…