Plenty to attract the punter to Somerset West property Vergelegen: two restaurants, namely the de luxe Camphors and the more casual Stables (complete with well-appointed children’s play area) and magnificent gardens. But most pleasing from a wine-geek’s point of view is that the wines have never looked better.
On Wednesday some of the new releases:
Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2012: 18/20
20% fermented and matured in 500-ltre barrels. Lime and grapefruit through cassis on the nose. Also a slight “sweatiness” which adds rather than detracts. Very expressive without being at all vulgar. Great palate weight, coated acidity.
Vergelegen Chardonnay Reserve 2011: 16/20
12 months in oak, 50% new. Lemon plus some burnt matchstick and lots of toasty oak on the nose. Good fruit concentration, gentle acidity, saline finish. Needs time.
Vergelegen Semillon Reserve 2011: 16.5/20
11 months in oak, 50% new. Lime, nettles and a brush of oak on the nose and palate. An arresting wine – hugely intense with driving acidity.
Vergelegen GVB 2011: 19/20
Fermented and matured in barrel, the Semillon in 225-litre barrels, 50% new and the Sauvignon in 500-ltre barrels, 25% new. Pure and precise. Great complexity – lime, lemon and tangerine, subtle vanilla and again a certain saltiness on the finish. Utterly captivating.
Vergelegen DNA 2007: 17/20
58% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very aromatic with notes of red fruit, fynbos. Medium bodied with good freshness and fine tannins. Elegant and sophisticated, a big step up on 2006.
Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2007: 16/20
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.3% Cabernet Franc, 4.7% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Dark fruit and a hint of mint on the nose and palate. Full bodied and powerful. Appears sweet upfront but the finish is long and dry.
Vergelegen Limited Edition Shiraz 2007: 17/20
From vineyards planted in 1999, supposedly the oldest to be free of virus in the country. Red fruit and white pepper on the nose and palate. Medium bodied, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Quite delicate overall.