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The Old Vine Series Skerpioen 2013 vs Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Anchorman 2012

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Different strokes for different folks.
Different strokes for different folks.

Oh, but it’s not a competition the effete contend. All of life is, I would counter. Eben Sadie of Sadie Family Wines has now achieved global recognition as a winemaker while Razan Macici of Nederburg, while not exactly unknown, is hardly a wine-geek hero. Revolution from without or within is what’s at stake here. Do you try to overthrow the system or gradually reform it?

The Skerpioen 2013 made by Sadie is from a field blend (interplanted grapes) of Chenin Blanc and Palomino, unirrigated Swartland  bushvines planted between 1958 and 1967. The Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2012 by Macici from “old, low-yielding, dryland bush vines” in Darling, Paarl and Durbanville.

Minimal intervention when it comes to Skerpioen, very intricate winemaking when it comes to The Anchorman (part fermented in small oak, part in large oak, part in tank and part undergoing carbonic maceration). 5 Stars for Skerpioen 2013 in Platter’s 2015 and 4 Stars for The Anchorman 2012 in Platter’s 2014. Approximate retail price of the former R250 a bottle, of the latter R95.

A contrast in styles, tasting notes and scores as follows:

Old Vine Series Skerpioen 2013

Peach and yellow apple plus a subtle yeasty quality on the nose. Sweet fruited with gentle acidity before a savoury finish, not exactly salty, not exactly spicy. Quite broad and flat in the mouth – not short of richness but arguably lacking verve. Understated and cerebral.

Score: 92/100.

Nederburg The Anchorman 2012

Peach and apricot, attractive oak notes plus a leesy character verging on rancio (some botrytis?). Rich and full but balanced by tangy acidity, the finish long and savoury. A lot going on.

Score: 90/100.

Drinking them next to each other, the Skerpioen was all Ingmar Bergman and the Anchorman more Marty Scorsese…

3 COMMENTS

    • Hi Elias, I think both these wines are 4.5 Stars – the Skerpioen a “strong” 4.5 Star and the Anchorman a “weak” one. What was interesting about the Anchorman was that it was easy to criticise based on just a sip or two – it’s pretty unrestrained stuff – but actually held my attention over time.

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