Stellenbosch property Saxenburg, acquired by Swiss businessman Adrian Bührer in 1989, enjoyed a golden period during the 1990s and early 2000s but it’s fair to say the reputation of the wines have slipped recently. Bührer’s son Vincent and daughter Fiona have recently taken over management while Edwin Grace is now cellarmaster, having been understudy to the long-serving Nico van der Merwe since 2005.
Can the new team turn things around? We shall have to wait and see. In the meantime, the launch of the 2009 vintage of Shiraz Select. It’s always been a statement wine (the maiden vintage 1998 was briefly the most expensive in the country) and the 2009, which sells for R800 a bottle, is no different.
Matured for 24 months in all-new oak, 50% French and 50% American, the nose shows red and black fruit, some black olive, vanilla, pepper and spice. The palate is rich and full with a slight heat to the finish. It’s hearty stuff, not unaccomplished, but out of fashion relative to something like Porseleinberg. Time for Saxenburg to re-invent its flagship?
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
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