The alternative trappe van vergelyking (degrees of comparison) that goes “Woes, Worcester, Rawsonville” is a joke at the Breedekloof’s expense. Last night the region hosted a food and wine gala dinner at the Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town to counter the notion that it only makes bland entry-level wine. Unfortunately, the exercise was only partly successful. Some observations as follows:
First a flight of white wines. Here I thought Deetlefs De Hageveld 2011 was the stand-out. A blend of 75% Semillon, 17% Chardonnay, 8% Sauvignon Blanc, it showed real character – white peach and an attractive leesy note, relatively thick-textured with soft but sufficient acidity (score: 15.5/20). It’s R90 a bottle from the farm and winemaker Kobus Deetlefs has obviously tried to make something not entirely middle of the road. The Badsberg Chardonnay 2012 and Slanghoek Chenin Blanc 2012 meanwhile were competently assembled offering good everyday drinking while I found the Waboomsrivier Sauvignon Blanc 2012 exceptionally dilute and neutral.
On to the reds. The Waboomsrivier Arborea 2010, a blend of 38% Pintoage, 37% Shiraz and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon was really appealing with plenty ripe fruit and great value at R35 a bottle. The Groot Eiland Shiraz Pinotage 2011 was in a similar vein but slightly more expensive at R50 a bottle. Other than that, these were hard work. Goudini Shiraz 2011 thin and showing the use of “oak alternatives”, the Mountain Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 rather plain, the Seven Oaks 6 + 1 Pinotage 2009 overtly medicinal and both the Botha Shiraz 2011 and Bergsig Icarus 2010 carrying far too much oak relative to fruit.
You expect decent sweet wines from the Breedekloof and a real treat was the Badsberg Badlese 2009, a natural sweet from Chenin Blanc and white wine of the year in Platter’s 2012. It’s delicious but perhaps at its peak. The Slanghoek Crème de Chenin 2010 and Deetlefs Soet Hanepoot 2009 weren’t too shabby either.
To end, two wines fortified with brandy: uniWines Ankerman Nectar de Provision (from Colombard) and Opstal Chardonnay Barrel Dessert 2011. You either like this sort of thing or you don’t.