Having spent R85 million to acquire Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch (and a further R15 million for the related Agulhas property), Ukrainian businessman Vitaliy Gayduk is not stopping there with extensive overhauls of both vineyards and cellar underway.
In particular, the dams on the property which have never been up to scratch are being seen to. “You can’t make consistently good wine without water. Just correct water management is going to result in an incredible increase in quality,” says viticulturist Nico Walters who came across from Rustenberg at the beginning of the year.
Was previous winemaker Carl van der Merwe now of DeMorgenzon making wine with one hand tied behind his back, you have to wonder? Narina Cloete, formerly Van der Merwe’s understudy, is now head winemaker and she’s getting everything she could possibly desire in order to make top-end wine – trips to Italy for benchmarking purposes on the one hand, state-of-the-art equipment in the cellar including five Nomblot eggs on the other.
Yesterday a tasting of the current releases:
Quoin Rock Cape South Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Lime, green melon and even some blackcurrant. Subtle and sophisticated – thick textured but not too much so, nicely coated acidity. Really well balanced.
Quoin Rock The Nicobar Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Matured for 10 months in French oak, 25% new. The oak appears quite prominent but there’s intense fruit (lime through granadilla) and bright acidity. Currently a bit stern and angular but should age well.
Quoin Rock South Coast Chardonnay 2012
Fermented and matured for 12 months in French oak, 25% new. Some burnt matchstick, citrus and white peach on the nose. An understated wine with good fruit concentration, moderate acidity and well integrated oak.
Quoin Rock Syrah 2010
Matured for 12 months in French oak, 10% new. Lovely aromatics – red and black fruit, lilies and fynbos, spice, black pepper. Medium bodied, pure and fresh with a long finish. Classy stuff.
Quoin Rock Vine Dried Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Price: R160 (375ml)
Green melon, granadilla, honey and some spice. Very rich and sweet with moderate acidity.