The 2023 CWG Auction wines rated: 93-94 points

By , 26 September 2023

The 39th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction is set to be held on Friday 6 October and Saturday 7 October 2022 at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West – register here. This year’s auction will see a total of 39 wines from 31 guild members on offer – I tasted all of these wines sighted, the wines to rated 93 – 94 as follows:

White

94

Beaumont Family Wines Hope Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2022 – Sebastian Beaumont
W.O. Bot River. Grapes from a vineyard planted in 1978, the backbone of the general-release Hope Marguerite. Hay, cut apple, stone fruit, spice and some funky yeasty, nutty notes on the nose. Good fruit density to go with well-integrated acidity, the finish lightly grippy. Somewhat idiosyncratic but full of flavour. Alc: 12.37%.

94

Mullineux Swartland “The Gris” Old Vines Sémillon 2022–  Andrea Mullineux
W.O. Swartland – grapes from cuttings originally sourced from a Paardeberg vineyard planted in 1960 and now established on the Mullineux’s Kasteelberg property. Top notes of hay and fynbos before citrus, green apple and some leesy complexity. The palate is rich with a creamy texture and well-integrated acidity – pretty much seamless. A forceful wine, which is to say it makes a big impression. Alc: 14.02%.

93

Ataraxia Under The Gavel Chardonnay 2022 – Kevin Grant
W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Spontaneously fermented and matured for 11 months in Burgundian barrels – no MLF and no batonnage. Aromatics of lime and lemon, a slight herbal note, floral perfume and oatmeal while the palate is relatively light with pure fruit, zippy acidity and a pithy finish. Alc: 13.43%.

93

Bartho Eksteen Vloekskoot Sauvignon Blanc – Wooded 2022 – Bartho Eksteen
W.O. Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Compelling aromatics with top notes of blossom and flinty reduction before blackcurrant, lime, grapefruit and granadilla. The palate is poised and precise – pure fruit matched by a great line of acidity, the finish long and saline. Alc: 14.49%.

Red

94

Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 – Morné Very
W.O. Stellenbosch. 70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Red currant and cassis, floral perfume, a pleasant herbaceous quality, pencil shavings and earth on the nose. The palate is plush and polished – good fruit definition, bright acidity and tannins that are smooth in the best sense. An alcohol of 14.98% means that this is certainly not without heft but well balanced on the whole.

94

Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2020 – Abrie Beeslaar
W.O. Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc and 14% Merlot. Matured for 24 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. The nose is very primary at this stage showing rubbery reduction before red and black berries plus vanilla. The palate is round with bright acidity and smooth tannins. A seamless, well-balanced wine that is very true to the house style. Alc: 13.37%.

94

Keermont Vineyards Where Mountains Meet Red Blend 2021 – Alex Starey
W.O. Stellenbosch. 60% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Expressive aromatics of red and black berries, flowers and herbs. Pure fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Big volume (alcohol is 14.8%) but balanced and refined – nicely dry on the finish. Classy stuff.

94

Leeu Passant Franschhoek Hillside Cabernet Franc 2021 – Andrea Mullineux
W.O. Franschhoek. The nose shows some rubbery reduction before red and black berries, a pleasant herbaceous note and rose – still very primary. The palate is medium-bodied with great clarity of fruit, bright acidity and super-fine tannins. Pure and on point. Alc: 14.38%.

94

Neil Ellis Wines Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 – Warren Ellis
W.O. Jonkershoek. Fermented in stainless steel tank and matured in second-fill barrels. Some flinty reduction before cassis, some leafiness and earth on the nose. The palate is forceful – dense fruit, bright acidity and firm but not coarse tannins. Slightly rustic but compelling even so. Alc: 14.7%.

94

Strydom Family Wines The Game Changer Cabernet Franc – Merlot 2018 – Rianie Strydom
W.O. Stellenbosch. 78% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot. Matured for 18 months in barrel, 50% new. Red and black berries, dried flowers, undergrowth, earth and spice on the nose while the palate is broad – plump fruit, fresh acidity, the tannins relatively mellow. A composed wine that’s already drinking well. Alc: 14.63%.

93

Beaumont Family Wines Arturo’s Pinotage 2021 – Sebastian Beaumont
W.O. Bot River. Grapes from a vineyard planted in 1974. Black cherry, plums, potpourri and earth on the nose while the palate has a weightless presence about it – bright acidity, fine tannins, the finish long and very dry. Alc: 12.58%.

93

De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2021 – Charles Hopkins
W.O. Ceres Plateau. Some reduction before, red and black cherry, fynbos, earth and spice. Dense fruit, punchy acidity and fine tannins, the finish long and dry. Not necessarily classic but certainly characterful. Alc: 12.81%.

93

W.O. Coastal. 63% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 14% Cinsault, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Red berries, dried herbs and white pepper on the nose. Good structure – medium bodied with pure fruit, fresh acidity and firm tannins. Tightly wound and precise, this should mature with benefit. Alc: 13.9%.

93

Ernie Els Wines CWG 2020 – Louis Strydom
 W.O. Stellenbosch. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Cinsault. Attractive aromatics of red and black berries, fresh herbs and spice. The palate is medium bodied with lively acidity and fine tannins – the finish dry to the point of austere. Alc: 13.97%.

93

Jordan Sophia 2021 – Gary Jordan
W.O. Stellenbosch. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc. Red and black berries, rose, a quite pronounced note of ground herbs, vanilla and pencil shavings on the nose. Good fruit definition, bright acidity and fine tannins, the finish long and dry. A wine with presence without sacrificing elegance – alcohol is a moderate 13.35%.

Fortified

94

Boplaas Cape Tawny 2007 – Carel Nel
W.O. Calitzdorp. 100% Tinta Barocca. Orange, apricot, caramel, nuts and spice on the nose. The palate is opulent – big volume, creamy texture and tangy acidity. Rich and satisfying with a gently savoury finish. Alc: 16.9%.

For the wines that rated 91 – 92, click here.

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