Epicurean is the wine brand owned by businessmen Mutle Mogase and Moss Ngoasheng plus former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa (former partner in the venture Ron Gault having returned to the USA), Rupert & Rothschild involved in viticulture and vinification, the stakeholders constructing the final blend .
It’s been a while since we heard much from the team but a lunch was held recently at deluxe Bantry Bay hotel Ellerman House to mark the release of the 2011 vintage (set to sell for R550 a bottle). Mogase led a tasting of the 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 vintages and the wines were all in respectable shape, the maiden vintage 2003 and the current-release 2011 looking particularly handsome.
Regarding the 2011, it is an important reference point for those who would champion local Merlot, the blend containing 81% of this variety plus 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc (Epicurean components changing significantly from year to year). The nose shows red and black fruit, a subtle leafiness and oyster shell. The palate is medium- to full-bodied with fresh acidity and sleek tannins. Forceful and still remarkably youthful.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
Find our South African wine ratings database here.