Tasting Report: Celebrate South Africa 2010

South Africa. What’s better than the accent? The wine.

Well, sometimes.

At a recent tasting of South African wines I wound my way through plenty of sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, and pinotage (something of a national grape in these parts), but found the best wines to be something else entirely, namely exotic blends of various wines — from Delheim, Morgenster Estate, and Boekenhouskloof (say it five times fast!). But my very favorite was Niels Verburg’s 2004 Shiraz, a gorgeous and lush wine that proves that Australia doesn’t have a monopoly on this racy, delicious varietal.

Complete tasting report follows.

2010 Celebrate South Africa Tasting Report

2009 Iona Chardonnay / B+ / $NA

2009 Iona Sauvignon Blanc / A- / $18 / very smooth, with ripe fruit

2005 Diemersfontein Reserve Malbec / B- / $25 / crazy, herbal and tart

2006 Villiera Estate Bush Vine Sauvignon Blanc / B / $21 / big fruit, green finish

2009 Delheim Pinotage Rose / B / $19 / better than I had hoped

2004 Delheim Grand Reserve / A- / $43 / cab/malbec blend, new world style

2004 Stellekaya Cape Cross / B / $35 / cab/malbec/pinotage, peppery cabernet character

2008 Graham Beck Gamekeeper’s Cabernet Sauvignon / B- / $16 / enormous jam

2009 Slanghoek Sauvignon Blanc / B+ / $14

2009 Slanghoek Chenin Blanc / B+ / $14

2007 Slanghoek Pinotage / B / $15 / has a kick

2007 Major’s Hill Pinotage / B+ / $28 / pepper and chocolate

2004 Niels Verburg Shiraz / A / $43 / huge cocoa notes, best of show by a mile

2008 Hamilton Russell Chardonnay / B / $27

2007 Southern Right Pinotage / B / $20 / very tart

2008 Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block / A- / $35 / shiraz/grenache/cab/viognier/cinsault… Not like chocolate at all

2007 Boekenhoutskloof Semillon / B / $NA / meaty

2008 Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc / A- / $20 / subdued

2008 Paul Culver Pinot Noir / B / $21

2007 Muratie Shiraz / B+ / $35 / menthol

2007 Muratie Ansela van deCaab / B / $33 / intense tannins

2003 Morgenster Estate Lourens River Valley / A- / $33 / Bordeaux style blend

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One Response to Tasting Report: Celebrate South Africa 2010

  1. Delighted you enjoyed our Sauvignon blanc and thank you for attending the tasting, we had a wonderful trip and were delighted with the response to the wines —-I am still recovering from the 9 hour time difference jet lag!
    Having the coolest vineyard site in South Africa, with up to 2 months extra “hang time” gives us the opportunity to ripen our fruit perfectly, resulting in a lovely balance of ripeness and gentle natural acidity.
    Best wishes,
    Andrew Gunn
    Iona Vineyards

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