André van Rensburg new releases

By , 27 February 2023



André van Rensburg was compelled to retire as winemaker at Anglo American owned Helderberg property Vergelegen after the 2022 harvest but it will not surprise those that have followed this dedicated individual’s career that he had already begun work on his own-label wines, which have now been released. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

André van Rensburg Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2021
Price: R280
W.O. Stellenbosch. A blend of 86% Sauvignon Blanc and 14% Semillon, matured in a combination of 500-litre barrels and stainless steel. Van Rensburg was pivotal in establishing Sauv-Sem blends as a category in the 2000s and this wine shows his mastery thereof. The nose shows a hint of flinty reduction before elderflower, blackcurrant, lime and white peach while the palate has great clarity of fruit and punchy acidity. It’s superbly harmonious with just the right amount of weight and substance.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

André van Rensburg Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2020
Price: R550
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec. Matured for 18 months in 225-litre barrels, 50% new. The nose shows cassis, plum, fresh herbs, milk chocolate and pencil shavings while the palate is rich and round – lots of ripe fruit, the tannins very fine making for a smooth-textured drinking experience. Alcohol is 14.5% and this has a breadth about it that is starting to look like the hallmark of this particular vintage.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.   


6 comment(s)

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    PK | 27 February 2023

    Wine scoring is not an algorithm, if it was we could leave it to the AI to do and live in a very boring world. People taste and score wines sitting in their respected homes or offices halfway around the world from each other, with who knows what company, weather outside, personal mood, etc etc etc. The human element has and always will play a role in these things. Christian may taste the bottle next year and it will blow him away, Greg may taste it in 6 months and think, wow not singing today. Too many variables to consider sometimes. Don’t use wine scoring as the gospel.


      Greg Sherwood | 28 February 2023

      I fully agree with this assessment. I suspect Christian will revisit this wine, which is admittedly very young (should be be drinking 2020 premium reds???) and might well say, ooh, its better than I thought. Likewise, I plan to buy myself a case of the red and white and pop them in my cellar. When I revisit the red, I may well say, ooh… maybe I was a bit generous, it’s only a 94 or 95… not a 97? But equally, I may revisit the wine and think, hell, how come other people can’t see how impressive this is? I certainly know that Andre’s importer to the UK, Richard Kelley MW also thinks both wines are very good indeed (despite having a vested interest.) I tasted both wines over two days and gave them the full benefit of breathing and opening up fully. Perhaps this influenced my final score or perhaps I have just tasted a lot of 95 to 100 point reds from around the world recently that I think this wine is certainly comparable to? Why should we always play the poor cousin who is not allowed at the top table when the quality justifies a higher standing?

    George | 27 February 2023

    92 points or 97 … or neither … I guess it’s partly a matter of preferred style.
    Greg Sherwood’s last two reviews, (the Andre van Rensburg & a Feb 19th one on Uva Mira O.T.V.) are on wines mentioned as available from Museum Wines in the U.K. Does Greg have links with Museum Wines? I’ve no idea but a bit of background always helps in understanding what one reads.

      Greg Sherwood | 27 February 2023

      You can’t silence the conspiracy theorists! 😉
      But you obviously spotted another Watergate with your meticulous examination!

      95 GSMW, 95 Decanter, 95 Tim Atkin MW. I smell a rat! 😉

      Christian Eedes | 28 February 2023

      Greg Sherwood’s updated biographical profile: Greg Sherwood was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and as the son of a career diplomat, spent his first 21 years traveling the globe with his parents.

      With a Business Management and Marketing degree from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Sherwood began his working career as a commodity trader.

      In 2000, he decided to make more of a long-held interest in wine taking a position at Handford Wines in South Kensington, London, working his way up to the position of Senior Wine Buyer. Earlier this year, he moved across to South African specialist merchant Museum Wines to become the Fine Wine Director. He qualified as a Master of Wine in 2007.

    Mike Froud, Top Wine SA | 27 February 2023

    92 from the editor of Winemag, 97 from columnist Greg Sherwood MW. Sjoe! Hopefully Andre van Rensburg’s 2020 Cab Merlot will be blind-tasted and rated by a good panel sometime soon.

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