Douglas Green St Augustine 1977
By Christian Eedes, 3 June 2020
My collection of the Platter’s wine guide does not extend further back than the 1984 edition, where Douglas Green of Paarl is described as “(l)ong-established, reputable liquor merchants”. Of the wine then labelled as St Augustine, it is written that it was “the flagship red until the 1979 cabernet superseded it, it is usually the same wine as the KWV export red Roodeberg”.
More specifically, the guide reports on the wine as a “(f)ine quality, full-bodied dry red blend of Tinta barocca, shiraz and pinotage. Well balanced, soft and most palatable, it is distinguished by a two-year maturation in wood. A round, fullish, well fleshed-out wine, with no single varietal predominating… Lasts well – about 10 years. Quite high in alcohol at about 12.8%.”
The author, however, does not particularly care for the 1977, noting at the time of writing that it appears “leaner” than the “richer” 1978 and 1979.
Drinking the 1977 vintage 43 years later, it is quite magnificent. The nose is still remarkably primary with notes of wild berry, some floral character, pepper, leather, spice and a slight varnish-like note that is more a point of interest than anything else. The palate, too, is very much intact with sweet fruit and bright acidity. Very good flavour intensity with a gentle savoury quality to the finish. This did not merely hold up over the course of a meal but constantly revealed hidden depths. A real treat (totally outshining a Roodeberg 1983 drunk earlier under lockdown).
CE’s rating: 94/100.
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