Do different wine competitions apply different aesthetics when it comes to deciding which wines get rewarded? You bet they do. The flagship Director’s Reserve 2010 from Stellenbosch négociant label The High Road won double gold at Veritas last year while the second-label Classique 2010 featured at the French-judged TAJ Classic Wine Trophy Awards earlier this year. I tasted both and while both are of high quality, the contrast in styles is stark.
The High Road Classique 2010
41% Cabernet Sauvignon 39% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Matured for 12 months in second-fill French oak. Red and black berries and a touch of fynbos. Medium bodied with clean fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins – well balanced if not super-complex.
The High Road Director’s Reserve 2010
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Matured for 16% months in French oak, 100% new. Dark fruit and subtle but definite chocolate note. Rich and broad with plenty of fruit concentration, moderate acidity and firm but fine tannins.