The 2002 vintage in the greater Stellenbosch area was a viticulturist’s nightmare – rain, mildew and the occasional heatwave. Presuming you didn’t take the pragmatic approach and drink them early on, curious to see how such wines are doing 10 years on.
Yesterday, the Vergelen Red 2002, described in the 2005 edition of Platter’s as “supple, more rounded than previous, thanks partly to lower (54%) fraction Cab (half of crop wiped out)”. Whatever, the shortcoming of the vintage, it was nevertheless nominated for 5 Stars but ended up on 4½ Stars.
Drinking it now, it did indeed appear a little awkward. On the nose, a herbaceous top note as well as the earthy, meaty aromas you’d associate with some development. The palate meanwhile had the taste profile of a medium bodied wine (red fruit, tomato cocktail) but simultaneously appeared quite rich and heavy (abv 14.5%). Hardly undrinkable but bearing all the signs of a difficult vintage. Score: 16/20.