Quoin Rock The Nicobar 2011 vs Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2011

By , 15 September 2014



Yesterday an “Us vs Them” tasting – five pairs of wines, each consisting of something South African and something from elsewhere in the world. As is so often the case, our whites impressed more than our reds.



Pair 1 : Quoin Rock The Nicobar 2011 vs Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2011
The Quoin Rock had elegance and sophistication about it (93/100) while the Greywacke was flashy – a slight mercaptan note to go with massive fruit concentration and tangy acidity (91/100).

Pair 2: The FMC 2009 vs Huet Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec 2009
The FMC was exotic in flavour profile (lemons, oranges, honey and spice) but held together well (92/100) while the Huet was a bit wild and woolly (90/100).

Pair 3: Paul Cluver Seven Flags 2010 vs Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits Saint-Georges 2010
I’ve been very positive Seven Flags 2010 before but tasting it blind next to the Burgundy, I thought it was a bit lean and attenuated (90/100). The Chevillon impressed with its purity of fruit and structure (91/100).

Pair 4: Meerlust Rubicon 2009 vs L’Esprit de Chevalier 2009
The Meerlust showed the most unfortunate pyrazine character (84/100) while the L’Esprit de Chevalier showed lovely ripe fruit and tannins even if it was a bit short of detail (89/100).

Pair 5: La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier 2010 vs Cuilleron Cote Rotie Bassenon 2010
The La Motte (91/100) showed well but relatively elegant in a South African context, appeared rich and broad next to the Cuilleron which was detailed and well- balanced (93/100).


3 comment(s)

  • Kwispedoor15 September 2014

    I have not tried the 2009 Rubicon yet, but would like if you could elaborate on what else was “wrong” with it in order for it to score a lowly 84?

    I’m saying “wrong” because you only mention the pyrazines and the issue of (natural, grape-derived) pyrazines is a stylistic one, concerning preference. For instance, I personally would consider it inaccurate scoring if someone would score a good Sauternes very low, just because they don’t like sweet wines (the Sauternes was otherwise good). Or score an otherwise very good Swartland white very low because it was made oxidatively.

    I believe that, when one encounters a very good wine, but one that doesn’t agree with one’s personal preference, ideally the score should reflect the quality, while the notes on the wine should reflect the personal preference. Having said that, I’m okay with personal preference having a small impact on scoring.

  • Christian15 September 2014

    Hi Kwispedoor, My full tasting note for the Meerlust Rubicon 2009 as follows: “Intense black, rim red-brown. Ultra-ripe dark fruit but also notable pyrazine character giving the wine a Tabasco-like quality – stressed fruit? Hard acidity and astringent tannins.” This is a wine that was nominated for 5 Stars in Platter’s 2014 (although finished on 4.5 Stars) and won silver at this year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show so some obviously do find redeeming virtues but stylistically I think it represents the past rather than the future…

    • Kwispedoor15 September 2014

      Thanks, Christian. By the way, this weekend my wine club (The Noble Rotters) tasted some “unusual” cultivars blind and I was wondering whether you’ve had the opportunity to try the Ken Forrester Roussanne Barrel Selection 2012. It fared extremely well against some good wines (KWV The Mentors Grenache Blanc 2010, The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2011, Thelema Sutherland Viognier Roussanne 2009, etc.) and I was really impressed.

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