The beginning of judging for Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012 and the customary Sunday afternoon old wines tasting followed by as informal a supper as the luxury Grande Roche hotel in Paarl can manage.
My top white wine was Backsberg Chardonnay 1985, which won Sydney Back the title of 1986 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in the category of wood-aged white. Citrus blossom, lemon and vanilla on the nose. A palate of great precision with juicy fruit and really vibrant acidity. Medium bodied, elegant and long. Score: 17/20.
Wine of the tasting, however, was Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 1973. Dark red with very little browning in colour, the wine showed red and black fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. Great purity and focus, still remarkably tight and primary. “Not unlike top Graves or perhaps Figeac,” suggested Brian Croser, Australian industry stalwart and one of the three international judges at this year’s competition. My score: 19/20.