Quoin Rock The Nicobar 2007
By Christian Eedes, 4 April 2011
The Quoin Rock cellar is located in the Simonsberg ward of Stellenbosch, but the range also includes wines made from vineyards in Cape Agulhas such as this, a partially wooded Sauvignon Blanc named after a Danish ship that sank there in 1783. The 2007 was maiden vintage and it comes highly decorated (best wooded Sauvignon Blanc at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2008, 5 Stars in Platter’s 2009) but drinking it now, I was somewhat nonplussed by it.
It should be noted that there’s little that’s conventional about how it was made. Free run juice was handled reductively and press juice was allowed to oxidise somewhat after which the two components were blended. Fermentation commenced without the addition of added yeast in a combination of 75% tank and 25% used French oak and lasted for 4 months. The wine was then left on the bulk fermentation lees for a further six months.
The technical analysis suggest that this is indeed a particular wine: abv 14.02%, RS 5.1g/l, TA 7.5g/l and pH 3.13. Only two vintages of this wine have ever been released (the 2009 succeeding the 2007 and rating 4½ Stars in Platter’s 2011), and it is already legendary for showing blackcurrant aroma and flavour (Sauvignon Blanc is a parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon along with Cabernet Franc and it’s not unheard of that the white variety shows dark fruit flavour but this is rare in South Africa). I supposed I did detect a little of this character but my impression was rather of a rich and textured wine with more traditional lime and green melon aromas and flavours with some tannic grip, almost bitterness on the finish.