Vergelegen White 2009

By , 1 November 2012



André van Rensburg of Vergelegen.

André van Rensburg of Vergelegen.

Yesterday a vertical of Vergelegen White from the maiden 2001 to 2011 convened by colleague Angela Lloyd and hotsted by the property’s managing director Don Tooth and winemaker André van Rensburg. In short, this is unquestionably one of the great Soiuth African wines of the modern era.

Van Rensburg identifies two eras, the first being from 2001 to 2007 where the wine tended to be Semillon dominated and more new oak at play and the second from 2008 onwards, the vines now older and the yields smaller. The divide was marked for me, corresponding to a shift in flavour profile from greener to riper.

Scores and tasting notes as follows:

2001: 16/20
78% Sauvignon Blanc, 22% Semillon. Old fashioned in that it has a pronounced green bean quality. Some aged-induced honey. Very much intact.

2002: 16/20
33% Sauvignon Blanc, 67% Semillon. Includes some botrytised fruit. Rich and full with pronounced honey character. Some pyrazine bite on the finish. A-typical but expressive and rewarding.

2003: 17.5/20
22% Sauvignon Blanc, 78% Semillon. Great delicacy and poise. Lime fruit, zingy acidity, long finish.

2004: 15.5/20
CWG Auction wine and hence a barrel selection of the normal bottling. 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 80% Semillon. Slight nutty character. Rich and full but relatively tired.

2005: 16/20
33% Sauvignon Blanc, 67% Semillon. Slight green bean quality on nose and palate plus pyrazine bite on the finish. Less stately than other vintages.

2006: 16/20
21% Sauvignon Blanc, 79% Semillon. Range of flavour from herbal through tangerine but not quite the same concentration of other vintages. Moderate acidity.

2007: 17/20
25% Sauvignon Blanc, 75% Semillon. Arresting with notes of green bean, herbaceousness and some vanilla. Still quite primary for its age.

2008: 18/20
52% Sauvignon Blanc, 48% Semillon. Very sexy – white peach, granadilla and pineapple flavours. Juicy and full with moderate acidity. Delicious sweet ‘n sour sensation.

2009: 18.5/20
65% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillon. Slight gunpowder note plus lime fruit on the nose. Great fruit expression – pure and focussed. Coated acidity and amazing length.

2010: 17/20
41% Sauvignon Blanc and 59% Semillon. Extravagant wine which appears far from resolved yet. Ripe fruit and vanilla flavour, gentle acidity.

2011: 18/20
50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon. Very primary with some gravel road dustiness as well as some white flower perfume. Lime fruit, zesy acidity. Clean and pure. Utterly enticing now but will only gain in complexity.


4 comment(s)

  • Smirrie3 November 2012

    Philemon what a idiot u r

  • Tim James3 November 2012

    Also extraordinary (or not) the number of people too cowardly to give their real names when making gratuitous, ignorant and stupid insults like this. (Although often enough one suspects the same few people.) This was not Angela Lloyd performing a job for Vergelegen at their request – quite the reverse. It was Angela offering many thousands of of rands worth of wine to provide a uniquely instructive experience for herself and for some of her colleagues, rather than the estate offering her anything. There were obvious advantages in her suggestion that it be held at Vergelegen, with the winemaker involved. The MD of Vergelegen kindly offered further hospitality to recognise the stature of the event. Filemon should retreat to his own blog, or his squalid den, or wherever he will find the foetid air that suits the quality of what passes for his mind.

  • Filemon2 November 2012

    Madam Angela convening a tasting for a private winery. How is she going to remain an independent commentator after being pampered by the producer and asked to perform such a task? Wondering whether she was paid the minimum wage.

    • Christian2 November 2012

      Hi Filemon, Quite extraordinary how so many always suspect the worst of those involved in the wine industry. Ms Lloyd provided just about all the wines out of her personal cellar, Vergelegen provided the venue and a few local commentators were invited to attend what was always going to be a seminal tasting. Afterwards, we were treated to a meal at the new Camphors restaurant courtesy of the property’s MD Don Tooth and while it was indeed a very enjoyable affair (PJ Vadas previously of the Roundhouse in Camps Bay clearly enjoying his new kitchen), I’m not sure how this really calls Ms Lloyd’s independence into question or that of anybody else. Wine tastings and lunches don’t pay bonds…

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