A few further points following my perhaps curmudgeonly (in part) previous note on Nederburg. The winery is the official producer (I’d love to know how much it cost them!) of wines for the 2010 World Cup. And if you were worried that the wines would be dumbed-down rubbish, I’m pleased to say that they are pretty good stuff. They should be released locally soon, I think.
Fortunately the white wine is not a last-gasp, uniquely South African “Paarl Riesling” – before that bit of chicanery is finally semi-squashed from the 2010 vintage. Instead, it’s a Sauvignon Blanc. Well there had to be a Sauvignon, I suppose, but it didn’t need to be as carefully crafted and dry as this one, with a touch of semillon giving it more breadth. And the great-for- sauvignon 2009 vintage came just in time. (Sauvignon lovers are generally in for a great treat treat from this year’s wines, which generally have a lovely natural balance and weight). Nederburg’s Twenty10 version tends to the ripe, less green side of the grape.
(Please excuse the poor photo – there seem to be no PR shots available yet, and it’s difficult taking night-time pics when one dog is scared of clanking bottles and the other terrified of flashes…)
The red is a 2007 Cab. Congratulations in order again for not doing the obvious and trying to punt pinotage. It’s ripe and approachable (but souvenir-hunters should be able to enjoy it for a good few years, I reckon), but not too fruity and some firm infrastructural shaping from tannin and acid.
And there’s a rosé to complete the triad. That’s one they could happily have made from pinotage, but it’s cab again – respectably dry, though only just, with juicy fruit complicated by earthy note. All of the wines come in packaging that brilliantly contrives to be both festive and elegant (the Sauv and Rosé with screwcaps, the Cab with cork). Nederburg haven’t put a foot wrong that I know of. Ah – in fact I don’t know the prices, but I suspect they’ll be as resonable as most Nederburg prices are.
Altogether, wines that no local patriot winelover could be proud of in any forum. One wonders if the local football team will serve the beloved country as handsomely?
Talking of patriotic pinotage: I indicated in my last article that I was not overwhelmed by the Private Bin wines for the Nederburg Auction, apart from the Sauvignons (2009s again). Some of them are good, of course, even very good, though not up to level of the Ingenuity pair. When tasting for Platter I sample all the wines and write notes and rate them before consulting the analyses that are provided by the producer. I was rather surprised in my scribbled notes, when it came to writing them up formally in conjunction with the analyses, to see that the Pinotage Private Bin R172 was virtually the only red that I’d noted as elegant and not rather alcoholic and moving in the direction of sweet and oaky (moving far ands fast in the case of oakiness!). And, although it is no wimp, in fact it turned out to have the lowest alcohol (at 14%, the lowest!), and to be the dryest, at 2 grams per litre residual sugar – the others creeping up to or reach 3 grams (which seems to be minimum wanted by Nederburg these days, as they take a leaf if not out of the Australians’ book, then at least out of that of Mike Dobrovic, late of Mulderbosch, where he routinely made his wine according to a recipe which demanded leaving them with a good dollop of sugar – and still somehow maintained a reputation as a serious winemaker! But that’s another story.)
May Nederburg score many goals.