TOPS at SPAR is South Africa’s biggest national liquor retail chain with 517 stores. Yesterday a tasting of some of its private label wines led by group merchandise manager Mark Robinson and consultant Tinus van Niekerk:
Le Geminus 2010 – R159.95
52% Sauvignon Blanc, 48% Semillon. 17 month on the lees, Semillon matured in second fill barrels. Extremely complex nose showing subtle fynbos, white peach, green melon and black currant as well as a touch of oak-derived vanilla. Rich but not unctuous, driving acidity, bone dry finish.
Olive Brook Optimus 2010 – R129.95
100% Sauvignon Blanc, 15 months on the lees. Granadilla and pineapple aromas and flavours. Very rich and concentrated, creamy texture, moderate acidity. Opulent style.
Olive Brook Quintette 2007 – R159.95
35% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 10% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc. Ripe dark fruit on the nose and palate. Rich and full with moderate acidity and a smooth texture. Good but lacking distinction.
Olive Brook Chardonnay 2011 – R44.95
Unwooded. Citrus blossom and lime on the nose. Juicy and fresh with a long, dry finish. Elegant, Chablis-like.
Olive Brook Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2010 – R54.95
Light red fruit and subtle earthy note on the nose and palate. Relatively rich and textured, moderate acidity. Somewhat ponderous.