Two serious takes on the Bordeaux style red blend side by side, the Private Collection 2010 (R100 a bottle) from Diemersdal in Durbanville and the Boet Erasmus 2009 (R150) from Vrede en Lust on the Paarl side of the Simonsberg.
And lest the debate about how much pyrazine character to tolerate grows cold, the Private Collection defined by this compound, the Boet Erasmus not and all the better for it.
The Private Collection is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec and spent 18 months in oak, 70% new. The Boet Erasmus meanwhile is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec, the different components spending between 16 and 18 months in oak, 35% new. Both have an alcohol by volume of 14%.
The Private Collection’s cool climate origins were apparent with it being the more medium bodied and fresher (which is to say, possessing the more prominent acidity) of the two wines. In any event, I didn’t think it had the fruit weight to support the amount of new oak used, the wine displaying a milk chocolate character on nose and palate. Score: 15/20.
Intense black fruit, moderate acidity and firm tannins on the Boet Erasmus. Some will no doubt argue that it borders on being excessively rich and concentrated but I would contend it benefits from having been made from fruit closer to optimally ripe. Score: 16/20.