Wines - Best of Both Worlds
Great South African winemakers have a wonderful ability to straddle the new and old worlds, producing wines of finesse and structure with purity of fruit and character, says James Suckling. After a recent tasting of hundreds available in Hong Kong, he nom
BOUCHARD FINLAYSON PINOT NOIR GALPIN PEAK TÊTE DE CUVÉE, WALKER BAY 2009
Very dense and layered, with dark berry, strawberry and smoky, charred-barrel character. Very floral. Full and round with a beautiful balance and length. Drink or hold. 93 points
RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD BARON EDMOND, WESTERN CAPE 2010
This is a rich and intense wine with tobacco, tar, cloves, spice and dried herbs. It’s got a full body with chewy tannins and a long, intense finish. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Drink or hold. 92 points
Better in 2016.
95 points DAVID SADIE DAVID ELPIDIOS, SWARTLAND 2011
A wine with lovely balance and finesse and plenty of subtle spice, berry and dried-meat character. A medium to full body with pretty tannins and a long finish. A blend of syrah, carignan, grenache and cinsaut. Drink now. 93 points
VILAFONTÉ SERIES C, PAARL 2010
This red is incredible. It’s like tasting a cult wine from Napa Valley. Full-bodied yet intense and silky, with a fabulous fruit and tannin balance. Superb. The mix is cabernet sauvignon (75 per cent), cabernet franc (10), merlot (10) and malbec (5).
KEN FORRESTER VINEYARDS OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC, STELLENBOSCH 2011
This is a really delicious white with dried peaches, apple, slate and mineral character and a friendly bitter undertone. Fullbodied and fascinating. Screw-cap. Drink now.
MEERLUST PINOT NOIR, STELLENBOSCH 2012
This has always been an inspirational South African red, with leather, spice and dried cherry character. It’s Burgundian with a new-world brightness. A medium to full body, delicate tannins and a crisp finish. Drink now. 93 points
THE SADIE FAMILY COLUMELLA LIBERATUS CASTRO BONAE SPEI, SWARTLAND 2009
Earthy, spicy and berry character with lots of depth. It’s like tasting a great Rhône yet there’s an ethereal style like Burgundy. Full, intense and deep. Drink or hold. 93 points
Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilised—andré SIMON
HAMILTON RUSSELL VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR, UPPER HEMEL-ENAARDE VALLEY 2012
Juicy and savoury, with dried strawberry, cedar and light dried meat character. A full body, pretty acidity and a delicious finish. The real deal. The master of South Africa does it as usual. Drink it. 93 points
DAVID SADIE DAVID ARISTARGOS, SWARTLAND 2012
This is deep and intense with beautiful layers of ripe fruit such as pineapple and pear. A full body, bright acidity and a flavourful finish. Chenin blanc, viognier, clairette blanche and chardonnay. Only four barrels made. 93 points
VILAFONTÉ SERIES M, PAARL 2010
So much incredible black olive, chocolate and tobacco character, along with burnt marshmallow. A full body with velvety tannins, yet reserved and firm. 49 per cent merlot, 30 per cent malbec, 21 per cent cabernet sauvignon. Drink or hold. 94 points