2012 CWG Auction wines rated

By , 4 September 2012




Yesterday a blind tasting of the wines to be sold at this year’s Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction to be held on 6 October at the Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch. 52 wines on sale, four less than last year. Live online bidding will make its debut, this possible via the-saleroom.com.

My scores and tasting notes below:

Méthode Cap Classique
Score: 16/20
Graham Beck Non Plus Ultra Cap Classique 2008
81% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir. Citrus, slight leesy note, hint of oak on nose and palate. Explosive mousse, soft acidity.

Score: 15.5/20
Simonsig Cuvée Chêne Blanc de Blancs MCC 2007
100% Chardonnay. Overtly yeasty on nose and palate. Citrus flavour, tart acidity, soft mousse.

Score: 18.5/20
Cape Point Vineyards Auction Reserve White 2011
70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon. Wonderfully compelling aromas of lime, fynbos, green melon and granadilla. The palate has both weight and verve – great tension between fruit, acidity and oak. Pure and long. Very accomplished.

Score: 18/20
Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2011
Citrus and burnt matchstick on the nose. Great fruit purity, bright acidity. Weighty but not at all listless. Classic stuff.

Score: 17/20
De Grendel Amandelboord Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Dusty, cat’s pee notes on the nose. The palate is very lean with lime flavour, bright acidity and a pithy finish. Nothing facile about this wine.

Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2010
Citrus and stone fruit, hint of oatmeal, some flint on the nose. Rich and full, good texture, bright acidity. Very sexy.

Rijk’s CWG Chenin Blanc 2011
Citrus, spice and some leesy character. Good concentration, oak well judged, bright acidity. Promises much.

Score: 16.5/20
Cederberg Ghost Corner Semillon 2011
Herbaceous, grassy notes on the nose. The palate is juicy and pure fruited with lime flavour and fresh acidity.

Chamonix Chardonnay Auction Reserve 2011
Citrus and vanilla on the nose. Full bodied with good fruit expression, oak well judged. Appears very primary, technically correct – should benefit from some bottle age.

Score: 16/20
Jordan Chardonnay Auction Reserve 2011
Ripe citrus, oak spice and some leesy character on the nose and palate. Rich and full. Rather idiosyncratic.

Saronsberg CWG Semillon 2008
Citrus, oak-derived vanilla and a waxy note on the nose. Rich and full with soft acidity. Some greenness in evidence. Proficiently made.

Teddy Hall Hendrik Biebouw Auction Reserve Chenin Blanc 2011
Peach and vanilla on the nose and palate. Good fruit concentration, moderate acidity. Currently rather straightforward, time in bottle should bring extra complexity.

Score: 18/20
De Trafford Perspective 2009
33.3% Cabernet Franc, 33.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot. Dark fruit, attractive oak. Full bodied and powerful but balanced – great fruit purity, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins.

Ernie Els CWG 2010
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Merlot. Optimatlly ripe red and black fruit, some spice, attractive oak. Super-concentrated, great line of acidity, good tannic grip on the finish. Unashamed blockbuster.

Haskell The Expatriate 2010
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Shiraz. Optimally ripe berry fruit, fynbos and oak spice. Great delineation, layers of flavour, lively acidity. Appealing herbal edge.

Kanonkop CWG Pinotage 2010
Complex nose with black cherry, hint of banana, floral perfume and oak spice. Pure and juicy with bright acidity and fine tannins. Rich but balanced.

Simonsig Estate Heirloom Shiraz 2010
Black fruit, some smoky, meaty character on the nose. Great purity, plenty of spice on the palate. Layers of flavour and lovely freshness. Archetypal Shiraz.

Tokara Auction Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Dark fruit, pleasant leafy note on the nose and palate. Great purity and freshness. Shows lightness of touch and should age very well.

Score: 17/20
Boschkloof Bakhand Shiraz 2010
Dark fruit, vanilla and some black pepper on the nose and palate. Made in a modern style with huge concentration offset by fresh acidity.

John Loubser Garibaldi Nebbiolo 2009
Some oak spice on otherwise shy nose. Red and black cherry flavours, bright acidity, fine tannins –well balanced. Succulent fruit upfront before a long, dry finish. A classy proposition.

Luddite “Oscar” Shiraz Mourvédre 2009
90.9% Shiraz, 9.1% Mourvèdre. Light reduction on the nose. Dark fruit, pepper and spice. Full bodied but balanced to well judged oak and fresh acidity.

Overgaauw DC Classic 2009
78% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon. Red and black fruit, hint of chocolate, fynbos on the nose. Medium bodied with bright acidity and fine tannins, slight savoury edge. Old fashioned.

Rust en Vrede Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Dark fruit, some floral fragrance and pencil shavings on the nose. Concentrated and pure with moderate acidity, firm but fine tannins. Full but balanced.

Waterford Estate Auction Reserve BB 2009
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Dark fruit on the nose and palate. Clean and pure with fresh acidity and firm tannins. Extraordinarily long on the finish. Very youthful – should reward maturation.

Score: 16.5/20
AA Badenhorst Family Wines Shatoe Ramnasgras 2011
100% Cinsaut. Red cherry and strawberry. Great fruit expression, some spice. Medium bodied with bright acidity. More-ish.

Graham Beck The Catalyst Shiraz Viognier 2010
90% Shiraz, 10% Viognier. Very aromatic with notes of red fruit, spice and fynbos. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Viognier lends some slightly discordant peach character and arguably dilutes.

Groot Constantia CWG Shiraz 2009
Red and black fruit, fynbos and spice. Good fruit concentration, moderate acidity but pronounced vanilla note detracts somewhat.

Score: 16/20
Beyerskloof Traildust Pinotage 2010
Red and black fruit, stewed veggie note. Medium bodied, bright acidity and fine tannins. Old fashioned.

Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir 2009
Black cherry and toasty oak aromas. Full bodied with good fruit concentration and bright acidity but oak slightly discordant.

Cederberg Teen Die Hoog Shiraz 2010
Shy nose while the palate shows red and black fruit and vanilla flavours. Very primary and rather unknit.

Grangehurst Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2006
Shows signs of development. Black fruit, slight stewed veggie note on the nose while the palate is medium bodied, fresh acidity and relatively soft tannins .

Hartenberg Loam Hill Merlot 2009
Dark fruit and some pencil shavings on the nose. Medium bodied, bright acidity, dry finish. By the book.

Haskell Paradigm 2008
71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec. Red fruit, some fynbos fragrance. Medium bodied with slight herbal edge, fresh acidity.

Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2007
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot. Ripe dark fruit, slight leafy note on the nose and palate. Rich and full, prominent oak, soft acidity.

Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2009
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot. Ultra-ripe dark fruit, heavily extracted, drying on finish. Extravagant style.

Neil Ellis Auction Reserve 2007
Red and black fruit, fresh acidity, fine tannins. Medium bodied and well balanced – an unassuming wine that is already quite accessible.

Spier Pinotage 2009
Ripe plumy fruit and vanilla on the nose and palate. Rich and smooth textured. Heavily oaked, moderate acidity.

Score: 15.5/20
De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2010
Red fruit, soft acidity, soft tannins. Slight jammy note.

Hartenberg Estate Auction Shiraz 2009
Shy nose. Dark fruit, prominent oak. Rich and full, smooth textured, moderate acidity. Hard work.

Jordan Sophia 2009
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot. Red fruit and vanilla on nose and palate. Medium bodied, soft acidity. Oak dominates.

Rijk’s CWG Pinotage 2010
Black cherry but also malty, meaty notes on the nose and palate. Rich and broad with a savoury edge. Rustic.

Spier Merlot 2009
Ripe dark fruit, slight minty note. Rich and full with moderate acidity and soft tannins.

Score: 15/20
De Trafford Syrah 2009
Ultra-ripe dark fruit and prominent oak on the nose and palate. Sweet and soft. Charmless.

Edgebaston Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2010
Prominent oak, hint of reduction on the nose. Sweet on entry, huge in structure, lacks freshness, drying on finish. Monstrous.

Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2009
Cassis, dark chocolate and pronounced mint on nose and palate. Ripe fruit, lots of oak, heavily extracted.

Kaapzicht Cape Blend 2009
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Pinotage. Plumy fruit and a milk chocolate note on nose and palate. Smooth textured and soft acidity. Rich and broad.

Kleine Zalze Granite Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Red and black fruit but also odd meaty, spicy notes as well as some greenness.  Rustic.

Louis Laika 2010
100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Appealing nose of cassis, pencil shavings and some leafiness. Palate disappoints appearing sweet on entry, flavours of vanilla and milk chocolate character.

Luddite “The Reserve” Shiraz 2008
Slightly jammy on nose and palate. Big and rich, smooth tannins, lacks freshness. Starting to tire.

Noble Late Harvest
Score: 16.5/20
Teddy Hall Eva (Krotoa) Muscat de Frontignan Noble Late Harvest 2009
Floral perfume on the nose. Light bodied and cleand with bright acidity. Lime, hint of mint, not much botrytis character in evidence. Very elegant.

Score: 17.5/20
Carel Nel Cape Vintage Auction Reserve 2010
Red and black fruit, fynbos, hint of chocolate. Pure fruit, moderate acidity, spirit addition very well handled. Very primary, perhaps a tiny bit short of intensity.

Not tasted: Paul Cluver Pinot Noir 2010


5 comment(s)

  • elias4 September 2012

    Hi Christian… if your score were out of 100… where does 15-20 fall in the 100 scale bracket…

  • Christian4 September 2012

    Hi Elias, I don’t think there’s any easy way of converting scores on the 20-point system to the 100-point system, but if pressed, I would suggest that 15/20 is roughly equivalent to 80-84 on the 100-point scale. I tried the 100-point scale when I rated the 2011 auction wines last year but it created a whole lot of misunderstanding – I gave a number of wines scores in the 80s which would be equivalent to silver at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show (and no mean feat) but a fair old trashing as the system is used in the US.

  • Kwispedoor4 September 2012

    I also thought the Cape Point Vineyards Auction Reserve White 2011 was very good. I detected a very unusual (for that kind of blend) intense spices and apricot aroma on the nose, which had me stumped a bit…

  • elias4 September 2012

    Thanks.. my favourites were the Laika that you scored very low and the Boschkloof Bakhand that you scored high… always tough but interesting at the least…

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