The traditional Old South African Wine Tasting to mark the commencement of judging for the 18th annual Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show took place last night, as always a fascinating bit of wine archaeology.
White wines have to be 15 years or older, reds 25 years or older to qualify. It’s a tricky exercise assessing quality because you’re compelled to make a call whether the wine has become more interesting with time in bottle rather than simply surviving but some of my favourites were: Warwick Chardonnay 2003 (91), Stellenzicht Syrah 1994 (92), Chateau Libertas 1979 (91), Vergenoegd Cabernet Sauvignon 1972 (92), Bertrams Cabernet Sauvignon 1976 (90), Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 1971 (90) and Neethlingshof Pinotage 1973 (92).
The stand-out, however, was Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1993. Red and blackberries, violets and herbs on the nose while the palate showed relatively dense fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins. Lovely poise but equally power given that this was apparently a wet vintage. So absolutely of the property and not at all hindered by having an alcohol of just 13% compared to 14.47% as is the case with the much celebrated 2015.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
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