What to make of Bilton in Stellenbosch? The Bilton 2006, a straight Cab which underwent 500% new oak and got priced at R3 000 a bottle ultimately seemed excessively attention seeking no matter the merits of the wine (see here) and none of the property’s other wines haven’t really captured the imagination to date.
I therefore broached the Sir Percy Classic Blend 2006 (a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot, 22 months in French, American and Hungarian oak) with no great expectations.
The wine, made in honour of the Bilton patriarch, the late grandfather of current owner Mark Bilton, is obviously intended to be taken seriously (the price is a not insubstantial R170 a bottle) but hopelessly cheesy packaging (“Sir Percy” in a generic cursive font and a die-cut label featuring a bird of prey perched on a shield above the motto “Experience) didn’t help.
In the end, it proved surprisingly fine. Great fruit intensity, moderate acidity, soft but not slippery tannins (score: 16/20). Drinking well now, I thought it was as good as most of its ilk and worth seeking out.