SA’s best wine producers suffer from a “country discount” – what’s in the bottle doesn’t demand anything near the same price of a comparable wine from an international competitor.
Adopting prestige pricing (selling your wine for R500 a bottle and over) is one way of getting the opinion-makers to reconsider their preconceptions but then your wine necessarily comes under extra scrutiny.
The Bordeaux-style red blend that is MR de Compostella has been ultra-premium from the get-go and has largely convinced, the 2009 being particularly compelling – see here. How might the 2012, released at R800 a bottle at the beginning of the month, be shaping?
Made by good friends Mzokhona Mveme and Bruwer Raats, the 2012 is a blend of 28% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 18% Petit Verdot and 10% Merlot, grapes sourced from around Stellenbosch, each component spending 10 months in barrel, and the blended wine spending another 12 months in barrel, a third new, a further third second-fill and the last third third-fill.
On the nose, ripe red and black fruit plus attractive oak while the palate is big and bold with lots of succulent fruit, moderate acidity and soft tannins – very polished and difficult to fault but for me lacking the same stature of the remarkable 2009.