Waterford Estate Auction Reserve 2005



Wines made for the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction often get criticised for being overdone but the Waterford Estate Auction Reserve 2005 drunk last night was looking marvellous. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Malbec, it was matured for 23 months in French oak, no indication given by the CWG site as to what portion was new.

The first point in the wine’s favour was that there was very little browning around the rim. On the nose, red and black fruit, a subtle leafiness, some oyster shell and attractive oak spice. A touch of forest floor and the other hard-to-describe savoury notes that come with development but this character not nearly as pronounced as it can be on SA reds 10 years from vintage.

The palate was rich but balanced with optimally ripe fruit, brisk acidity and nicely resolved tannins. Very little decay in evidence. I did wonder whether or not it was going to get very much more interesting from further bottle maturation but rather a year too early than a day too late, as they say.

Score: 95/100.

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  1. Mark EdwardFebruary 22, 2015 at 10:02 pmReply

    Hi Christian,

    I would be very interested to hear how this wine would compare say to a similarly rated Bordeaux from 2005, which was a very good year. An example would be the Durhart Milon 2005, at approx £55 per bottle ( R990), rated 94/100 by Robert Parker, or the Chateau Lascombes 2005, at £63 per bottle (R1,150) 95/100 by Robert Parker. Both are beautiful wines, and have only just matured, ready for drinking. The CWG, Kevin Arnold, Waterford estate is no doubt one of SA’s best offerings. You didn’t state how much it would cost if it was re-auctioned today, but I guess that it would be in a similar price bracket to the fifth and second growths that I have suggested. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    • Christian EedesFebruary 23, 2015 at 11:40 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Mark, Not sure what the Waterford would sell for today but it fetched an average price of R460 a bottle at the 2009 Auction.

      Sadly, I haven’t drunk any Bordeaux 2005 recently but I did ask Roland Peens of Wine Cellar who moves in more rarified circles for his thoughts and he replied as follows: “I haven’t had either of the below for a long while but I imagine the Duhart would still be quite austere and backward. I wouldn’t drink it until at least 2020 and it will age forever. Lascombes is very modern which is to say quite ripe and oaky and is probably a bit awkward. In general, the lesser 2005s are starting to open up.”

      Interesting to note that Duhart-Milon 2005 gets an average user review of 91.8 on CellarTracker.com and the Lascombes 2005 92.5.

  2. JoeFebruary 9, 2015 at 8:48 amReply

    Just for interest sake, Christian- alcohol %?

    • Christian EedesFebruary 9, 2015 at 10:19 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Joe, Analysis as follows:

      Alc: 14 vol%
      RS: 1.8 g/l
      TA: 5.8 g/l
      pH: 3.65

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