Bordeaux vs SA: Five wines from the 2000 vintage

By , 3 January 2023



To celebrate New Year’s Eve, five wines that were 22 years old before midnight and 23 after… From the 2000 vintage, the line-up included two Bordeaux: Duhart-Milon and Réserve de la Comtesse as well as three from Stellenbosch: Kanonkop Paul Sauer, Morgenhof Cabernet Sauvignon and Vergelegen Auction Reserve.

Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Réserve de la Comtesse 2000
Second wine of Second Growth Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Red and black berries, crushed leaves and pencil shavings on the nose. Great fruit definition, fresh acidity and fine tannins, the finish long and dry. Still remarkably youthful. Alc: 13%.

Chateau Duhart-Milon 2000
Fourth Growth. 80.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19.5% Merlot. Subtle but complex aromatics of red berries, tomato cocktail, potpourri, herbs, oyster shell and cigar box. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and tannins that remain quite firm. Intricate and elegant. Alc: 12.5%.

Morgenhof Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Winner of the trophy for best in class at the 2003 Trophy Wine Show. 100% Cabernet Sauvigonon. Intense cassis, some leafiness and just a touch of mint on the nose while the palate has a dense core of fruit and grippy tannins. Still rather forceful as you might expect from single-variety Cab – great purity and drive. Alc: 13.6%.

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2000
77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot. Red and black berries, some leafiness and undergrowth on the nose while the palate is sweet and rich – good depth of flavour and smooth in texture. Alc: 14%.

Vergelegen CWG Auction Reserve 2000
Barrel selection of farm’s Cape Bordeaux Red Blend, which was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc in 2000. Red and black berries, fynbos and some earthiness on the nose. Full and round on the palate – perhaps a bit hollow, the tannins pretty much resolved. Alc: 14.5%.

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3 comment(s)

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    Johan Giliomee | 9 January 2023

    The 2000 Bordeaux wines are rated five stars (the best possible rating). Réserve de la Comtesse 2000 sells @ R 1 500, compared to Morgenhof Cabernet Sauvignon @ R 250. It shows that SA has the best premium Bordeaux-style value-for-money wine (in the world).

    Jono | 4 January 2023

    I’d love to hear more about the tasting itself, as well as your musings on the experience!
    Were the wines served blind?
    If so, where they easy to distinguish from one another?
    Were there any surprises?
    Did the experience shift the needle for you (in either direction) on the ageability of South African fine wines?

      Christian Eedes | 4 January 2023

      Hi Jono, Wines were tasted sighted and then enjoyed with a long dinner so plenty of time for each to show their worth. The defining characteristic of the South African wines was their relative opulence – I’d like to think that local producers are now managing to achieve greater refinement than they did then. As for ageability, it has to be said all five wines provided good drinking – time is a great equaliser and there really wasn’t much between them. That said, Kanonkop and Vergelegen are considered among our greatest properties while as the two Bordeaux wines are respectable rather than the very best that that region is capable of.

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