Neethlingshof 1802 Collection

By , 20 April 2021

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The new 1802 Collection from Stellenbosch property Neethlingshof re-ignites the debate about what constitutes “optimal ripeness”. These two high-end wines, one a Pinotage and the other a Cabernet Sauvignon, both have alcohols of above 15%, which is extreme in this day and age, and I fear that only one of the wines is successful. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Neethlingshof 1802 Collection Pinotage 2017
Price: R550
Matured for 26 months in 300-litre French oak, 50% new. Plum, prune, mocha and spice on the nose. The palate is super-rich – sweet, hot and smooth textured, this is almost liqueur-like in its intensity. Some may be impressed by the power in evidence but for me it lacks balance and freshness. Alcohol: 15.25%.

CE’s rating: 88/100.

Neethlingshof 1802 Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Price: R550
Matured for 18 months in 300-litre French oak, two-thirds new. Aromatics of cassis, olive, pencil shavings and cigar box on the nose before a palate that is most definitely full bodied but surprisingly balanced – good fruit concentration, bright acidity and smooth tannins, the finish nicely savoury. Alcohol: 15.25%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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  • Greg+Sherwood+MW21 April 2021

    The premium market in UK has moved on from these styles… whether from Australia, USA or SA. These will be a tough sell for sure.

    At a time when a younger generation are stopping drinking alcohol completely or moving to the popular No/Lo beverage category, it almost seems irresponsible to be championing high Abv styles like this, or at the very least, misinformed?

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