Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2017

By , 17 January 2020



Dress for success.

With the current-release 2017 selling for around R185 a bottle and total production mooted to be 1.5 million bottles, the Cape Bordeaux red blend that is Classique from Rupert & Rothschild, the partnership between South Africa’s wealthy Rupert family and French banker and businessman Benjamin de Rothschild, demonstrates that it is not entirely impossible to make premium wine on a large scale in South Africa.

Is a triumph of branding over intrinsics, however? The 2017, I’m happy to report, is a classy and eminently drinkable affair. Merlot-driven, the nose shows red fruit, some floral fragrance plus the merest hint of fresh herbs and oak spice while the palate is medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins, the oak very well judged. Not exactly thrilling or profound but it certainly won’t disgrace your dinner table.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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4 comment(s)

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    Julio Xavier | 2 July 2020,
    You have overlooked Laborie Merlot 2018 Vintage which has a 14% Alcohol content and retails for around R74 at TOPS-SPAR. This wine is a sure contender with Rupert&Rothschild.

    Gary | 18 January 2020

    A R40 bottle of wine taste the same

    Duncan | 17 January 2020

    It’s safe, sure, but also luxurious, balanced and ‘expensive’ tasting without being overly plush or too overt. In short, surprisingly elegant for a luxury item at that price point. You can certainly buy more exciting and interesting wine for similar money, but what else on the South African feels so stately at that price?

    Chocolate Block and Anthonij Rupert Optima do something similar – and are arguably more interesting and rewarding – but for a fair bit more.

      GillesP | 17 January 2020

      I haven’t tasted the R&R Classique in a while but I take your words for it and I agree about Optima which is a greatly made wine and perfectly drinkable on release which is always four to five years from vintage year. On the other hand I think the Chocolate Block needs time to be approached but gets released very early from vintage year.

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