Saturday, 26 October 2013

Naughty cork

This little collection of relatively old South African wines provided a few surprises, some absolute (and probably expected) shockers and a huge amount of conversation.  The risk with cellaring wines is that by the time you surgically extricate pop the cork, the wine may have already crested it's particular 'hill', free-wheeled rapidly down the other side and settled into the harsh, but ultimately guaranteed, oblivion of vinegar and nothingness.

The wines tasted were:
  1. Nederburg Cabernet 1970
  2. Zonnebloem Cabernet 1970
  3. Backsberg Cabernet 1980
  4. Zonnebloem Merlot 1997
  5. Laborie Estate Blend 1980
  6. HC Collisen Cabernet 1983
  7. Backsberg Pinotage 1987
  8. Rustenberg Pinot Noir 1982
  9. Fairview Shiraz 1980
  10. Rust en Vrede Tinta Barocca 1987
  11. Glen Carlou Le Trois 1997
  12. Drostdy Hof Merlot 1998
  13. Fairview Cabernet 1979
  14. Bertrams Zinfandel 1980 (?)
  15. Bertrams Shiraz 1980 (?)
  16. Alto Estate Blend 1994
The 1987 Backsberg Pinotage was deep purple, full of fruit, well balanced and quite a surprise to the 12 tasters.

The Bertrams Zinfandel (from the early 80's) was complex with a lovely lingering finish.

The 1983 HC Collisen was the most impressive Cabernet, with lively blackcurrant.

The 1998 Drostdy Hof Merlot was possibly the most enjoyable, easy-drinking, uncomplicated and still quite young.

The 1982 Rustenberg Pinot Noir was highly drinkable with a great earthy nose and elegant fruit on the palate.

Lessons learned:
  1. Wines, including Cab's, don't always get better with age.
  2. Corks can be stubborn.
  3. Too much wine = headache.

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