Grangehurst Nikela 2001 vs. Kanonkop CWG 2001

Tricky,

Tuesday night a meeting of our social tasting group, the theme of the evening wines from the 2001 vintage.
We tasted blind and here’s how I scored the wines using the 20-point system.

Whites
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2001 18/20
Klein Constantia Rhine Riesling 2001 15/20

Reds
Meerlust Rubicon 2001 17.5/20
Grangehurst Nikela 2001 17/20
Warwick Trilogy 2001 16/20
Kanonkop CWG 2001 15.5/20

Regarding the reds, Meerlust Rubicon and Warwick Trilogy were both quite obviously Bordeaux-style reds, even if the former appeared more classical (elegant and savoury) and the latter more modern (sweet fruit, lashings of oak).

As for the other two wines, the Grangehurst Nikela 2001 didn’t taste like it had any Pinotage in it at all even thought it actually contains a good 31% of the variety along with about 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot. Pleasingly austere, it showed dark fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins and seemed good for at least another five years.

Meanwhile, I speculated that the Kanonkop CWG 2001 was a Pinotage, on account of it being medium bodied with sweet plumy fruit offset by rather hard tannins – not a bad wine just a little rustic. This was a mistake I was not entirely unhappy to make given this Stellenbosch property’s close association with the variety historically. The wine is in fact a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc and 19% Merlot.

For more reflections on how the 2001 vintage is performing, see here.

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