Yesterday an “Us vs Them” tasting – five pairs of wines, each consisting of something South African and something from elsewhere in the world. As is so often the case, our whites impressed more than our reds.
Pair 1 : Quoin Rock The Nicobar 2011 vs Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2011
The Quoin Rock had elegance and sophistication about it (93/100) while the Greywacke was flashy – a slight mercaptan note to go with massive fruit concentration and tangy acidity (91/100).
Pair 2: The FMC 2009 vs Huet Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec 2009
The FMC was exotic in flavour profile (lemons, oranges, honey and spice) but held together well (92/100) while the Huet was a bit wild and woolly (90/100).
Pair 3: Paul Cluver Seven Flags 2010 vs Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits Saint-Georges 2010
I’ve been very positive Seven Flags 2010 before but tasting it blind next to the Burgundy, I thought it was a bit lean and attenuated (90/100). The Chevillon impressed with its purity of fruit and structure (91/100).
Pair 4: Meerlust Rubicon 2009 vs L’Esprit de Chevalier 2009
The Meerlust showed the most unfortunate pyrazine character (84/100) while the L’Esprit de Chevalier showed lovely ripe fruit and tannins even if it was a bit short of detail (89/100).
Pair 5: La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010 vs Cuilleron Cote Rotie Bassenon 2010
The La Motte (91/100) showed well but relatively elegant in a South African context, appeared rich and broad next to the Cuilleron which was detailed and well- balanced (93/100).