In a less than stellar showing at this year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, Pinot Noir collected no gold medals, a single silver (Paul Cluver 2012) and seven bronze, Véronique Drouhin-Boss, top Burgundian winemaker and international judge declaring that too many of the wines were “herbaceous and a bit bitter” going on to speculate that fruit was being overridden by oak.
I recently tasted four examples from the 2012 vintage which had accumulated and I’m afraid I didn’t have much joy, either.
Oak Valley 2012
Nine months in barrel, 35% new. Black cherry, some musky perfume, vanilla and char. Decent fruit weight and nice freshness but oak ultimately detracts.
Sold out (2013 sells for R182 a bottle).
12 months in barrel, 25% new. Very primary with notes of red fruit and spice on the nose. Medium bodied with good freshness and prickly tannins. Modern styling – clean and pure but lacks detail.
12 months in barrel, none new. Red cherry and some light spice. Fruit forward and light bodied, entirely straightforward.
Glen Carlou 2012
10 months in barrel, 25% new. Black cherry plus vague notes of musk and earth. Very ripe, soft and sweet – lacks concentration and structure.