2014 CWG Auction wines rated

By , 14 August 2014



One for the freaks and geeks.

One for the freaks and geeks.

The 30th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction takes place at the Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch on Saturday, 4 October 2014. There are a record 62 wines on offer and I attended a blind tasting held for the media yesterday.

Stand-out wines as follows:

Boplaas 1880 Ox Wagon Reserve 8 Year Potstill Brandy
Deep amber in colour. Lovely fruit plus a hint of caramel and spice. Balanced and fresh, not too fiery.

Cape Point Vineyards CWG Reserve White 2013
Enticing nose of white peach, blackcurrant and granadilla. Great concentration and zesty acidity. Lovely creamy mouth-feel.

Ernie Els CWG 2012
Optimally ripe red and black fruit and some spice. Juicy and fresh – good concentration and length.

Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2012
Cassis and violets on the nose. Lovely fruit purity, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Oak well handled. Long, dry finish.

Grangehurst Auction Reserve 2009
Red and black fruit, pleasant oak spice plus some tomato cocktail-like savoury character. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Old school but delicious.

Kleine Zalze Granite Selection Chenin Blanc 2013
White flowers, citrus, pear and peach. Great purity and freshness and really long, saline finish. Focused.

Mullineux “The Gris” Semillon 2013
Enchanting nose of lime, patchouli and dried herbs. Lovely palate weight, soft but sufficient acidity before a saline finish. A vague and entirely pleasant phenolic quality.

Simonsig The Red Ox White Roussanne-Chenin Blanc 2013
Honeysuckle, pear and peach. Pure fruit, bright acidity, pithy finish. Well balanced and long.

AA Badenhorst Kalmoesfontein Dassiekop Steen 2012
Peach plus oxidative honeyed notes on the nose and palate.  Sweet on entry but savoury on the finish.  Quirky but has interest.

Groot Constantia Auction Reserve Shiraz 2011
Very attractive aromatics including red fruit, spice and dried herbs. A burst of upfront fruit, good freshness and nicely prickly tannins.

Kleine Zalze Granite Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Red and black fruit, attractive oak spice plus some savoury character. Rich but balanced with layers of flavour. Good line of acidity and fine tannins.

Boschkloof Syrah 2012
Red fruit, floral perfume and some pepper. Ripe, juicy fruit and lovely fine tannins. Approachable but not facile.

Hartenberg CWG Auction Shiraz 2011
Sweet dark fruit, black pepper, coffee and vanilla. Rich and full but balanced, nicely ripe tannins.

Jordan Chardonnay Auction Reserve 2013
Lime and lemon plus oak spice and a subtle leesy quality on the nose and palate. Sweet-fruited, rich and full. Extravagant style.

Paul Cluver Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2013
Subtle lime and lemon plus vanilla on a generally shy nose. Pure and focused with good fruit concentration and fresh acidity. Well balanced with a long finish.

Teddy Hall Maria van Loon née Engelbrecht Shiraz Reserve 2012
Red and black fruit, some pepper and spice plus vanilla. Very youthful but well balanced. Lots going on and should come together well.

Villiera Drip Barrel Merlot 2012
Red and black fruit, chocolate and a vague, not unpleasant note of crushed herbs. Medium bodied and well balanced – juicy fruit and fine tannins.

Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2013
Bartho Eksteen Sluitsteen Shiraz 2012
Bartho Eksteen Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc 2013
De Grendel Wooded Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Etienne Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2004
Jordan Sophia 2011
Kaapzicht CWG 1947 Chenin Blanc 2013
Kaapzicht CWG Pentagon 2010
Rijk’s CWG Pinotage 2011
The Drift Mountain Farm “The Heartbreak Grape” Pinot Noir 2013

To find out how you can attend the Auction, visit: www.capewinemakersguild.com, email info@capewinemakersguild.com or call 021 852 0408.


8 comment(s)

  • Christine Andrews17 August 2014

    It’s really interesting to see your comments on the CWG in comparison to Tim James comments the other day. Reading between the lines, it looks like you were also not that impressed? It’s my first time attending the CWG auction this year and I am very apprehensive to say the least. I agree on the comments above that it is awesome to see Mullineux put in their Semillon. I also agree that if the majority of SA wine drinkers/buyers are not adventurous to try different wines then you can understand why the wineries don’t necessarily put something unique or different forward. Catch 22 isn’t it.

  • Reenen14 August 2014

    Christian would be nice to know what your overall impression of the CWG wines were this year… Tasting them blind gives one a honest opinion. Looking forward to hearing from you. Reenen

    • Christian14 August 2014

      Hi Reenen, Overall I thought the line-up was solid but a bit uninspiring – there should be more stuff at 90/100 and over. Given the membership of the Guild, these wine should be at the cutting edge of what SA is capable of. We can’t leave the Sadies and the Alheits to do everything…

      • Sam15 August 2014

        Just remember, they as a collective choose the wines that go in. So it will speak to the bigger “old school” mind, not the cutting edge one.

        • Christian15 August 2014

          Hi Sam, The new selection process of the last few years which allowed all members of the guild to have a wine on auction after being checked for fault was supposed to “boost creativity”. Also while many of the members are what you might call “elder statesmen”, the likes of Badenhorst, Savage, Mossop, Mocke and Mullineux not so much.

      • James15 August 2014

        Is the issue not perhaps with the auction buyers? People probably expect the auction version of a wine to be a better version of the standard bottling. I’d argue that Badenhorst, Mullineux and the rest of the younger guard are already producing cutting edge wines in their standard ranges, so why would they risk entering something that would not be necessarily be appreciated by the bigger spenders? All you end up with then is unsold wine. The auction buyers need to move this stock, and given the average SA consumer’s fairly unadventurous taste why would you risk spending money on a Cinsaut when you can easily sell a Cabernet?

        I applaud Andrea Mullineux for entering a Semillon when she could so easily have entered a different version of their single vineyard Syrahs or something more easily understood by the general public. Your caption perhaps explains things best: “One for the freaks and geeks”. Good, but how many of them are planning on attending the auction?

  • Christian14 August 2014

    Hi Elias,

    No tasting notes for the rest of the wines partly because “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and partly because this blog is only indirectly revenue generating. But since you ask about the Boekenhoutskloof Syrah, here goes: “Dark fruit plus a herbal/stalky note. Juicy and fresh but slightly peculiar flavour profile. Oak well judged.” Score: 89/100.

  • Elias14 August 2014

    Hi Christian. Why no scores and tasting notes on rest of the wines… would love to know what you thought about wines like Boekenhouts and other….

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