Chateau Naudé Wine Creation is a venture between François Naudé, previously of L’Avenir, his son François jnr and daughter Melissa. Their flagship wine called Le Vin de François is a Pinotage which Naudé compiles after tasting through the cellars of various leading producers, the current-release 2014 vintage including wines from Beyerskloof, Delheim, Kanonkop, Lanzerac, L’Avenir and Simonsig, all in Stellenbosch, as well as Rhebokskloof in Paarl and Wildekrans in Bot River.
The wine is only ever sold at a private auction, this year held at Diamant Estate in Paarl, the 195 cases of the 2014 on offer fetching an average of R8 500, roughly equivalent to R1 417 a bottle.
It’s an outstanding version of the variety. On the nose, some elusive floral character before red and black cherries, plums and some appealing oak-derived notes of vanilla and spice. The palate is big but phenomenally well balanced – concentrated fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. There’s great depth of flavour and the wine has an energy about it which suggests excellent ageing potential. The finish, meanwhile, is dry but not astringent. An immaculately assembled offering that has to be included in any discussion concerning SA’s ultra-premium reds.
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