The last time brandies were rated in the Platter’s guide was in 1988, although brandies were listed until 2000. Brandies are back in the 2014 edition and seven rated 5 StarsBoplaas Potstill 20 Years Brandy, KWV 15 Year Old Alambic, KWV 20 Year Old, Oude Meester Souverein 18 Year Old, Van Ryn’s 12 Year Distillers Reserve, Van Ryn’s 20 Year Collectors Reserve and Van Ryn’s 30 Year AU.RA.
Yesterday lunch to sample the four which belong in Distell’s Fine Brandy.By Design collection, those being the Oude Meester and the three from Van Ryn’s.
“Having brandy back in the guide is only appropriate as it’s an integral part of the SA wine industry,” says Brink Liebenberg, general manager of spirits production at Distell. “Our brandies are highly awarded in international competition but this is not always understood by the local consumer. Platter’s is well recognised and respected.”
Van Ryn’s 30 Year AU.RA was sublime. Blended from five different batches, the oldest from 1972, only 107 bottles were produced of which 20 remain – selling for R15 960 a bottle. Citrus blossom, dried herbs and subtle vanilla on the nose while the palate had a salty, almost Sherry-like quality about it. Complex and ethereal.
Not completely out of reach at around R1 000 a bottle was the Oude Meester Souverein 18 Year Old. “Oude Meester used to be a brand with appeal to an older, black market segment but we’ve turned that on its head and are now targeting young urban professionals,” says Caroline Scott, Fine Brandy. By Design brand manager. TV ads featuring A-list actor Jamie Foxx can’t do any harm but there’s nothing wrong with the intrinsic quality either , the 18 Year Old being particularly light and elegant.