Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 1971
By Christian Eedes, 8 February 2012
My wife Jane and I were married four years yesterday. With a niggly newborn and a wilful two-year-old, celebrations were always going to be modest but we tried to make the best of things. Crumbed calamari with Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2005 to start followed by pan fried sirloin, chips and petit pois with by Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 1971 for the main course.
We shared a chuckle at how quick our metamorphosis from thirtysomething hellraisers to child-rearing suburbanites had been and got stuck into the wines. What a pleasure to drink, really drink older stuff –both wines showing a mellowness which only age can bring.
The Rustenberg was particularly memorable. To call the nose “tertiary” is to be euphemistic. Basically, the wine smelt of decay, but a decay which counter-intuitively was entirely appealing. The fruit on the palate however was remarkably intact, flavours of red and black cherry to the fore. Bright acidity, meanwhile, lent real refreshment value while next to a hunk of rare steak, the tannins appeared almost non-existent. Under the circumstances, entirely academic to score the wine.