The change in stylistic direction on the soon-to-be released 2011 vintage of Nebbiolo from Steenberg is immediately noticeable and to be applauded. Whereas the 2010 (currently selling for R220) underwent malolactic fermentation in new oak and was later matured in second- and third-fill 225-litre French oak barrels for 15 months, the 2011 was fermented in tank before a similar maturation.
The result is a wine that is much more fruit driven, which is not to say tutti-frutti. Plenty of red cherry but an undertone of tomato cocktail to keep things interesting. Sweet upfront but bright acidity and fine tannins provide a counter-balance and the finish is nicely dry. Not super-complex but very more-ish, even so.