Tradition has it among wine enthusiasts that you stand up in homage when you drink any wine older than yourself.
This is not something that happens too often for me, alas, but I recently stood in homage – and awe – when I tasted a 1926 KWV Private collection Reserve Port.
This wonderful amber liquid is packed with the warm, plum-pudding flavours of brandy-soaked raisins. Time has added to its elegance and roundness. What a treat!
The occasion was a preview tasting of some of the wines that will go on sale at this year’s Nederburg Auction, which takes place at Nederburg on September 28 and 29.
There are just six bottle of the rare 1926 port on offer, and they have a reserve piece of R3000 each.
I have no doubt at all that the bids will go considerably higher than that.
For those with pockets not quite as deep, there’s a delightful Allesverloren 1999 Port at a reserve price of R990 for a six-bottle case. It’s a soft and nutty after-dinner drink with flavours of cedar, tobacco and raisins.
Another of the wines that drew my attention was the 2007 Perdeberg Rex Equus Cabernet Sauvignon, offered at a reserve price of R1000 for a six-bottle case. This is a big, bold wine, loaded with spicy dark plum flavours, cinnamon and cloves, with a suggestion of oak vanilla that doesn’t dominate the flavour spectrum.
A wine for a special occasion.
Unusually for me, the stars of this year’s line-up shone brightest among the white wines, with some great Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blanc on offer.
I loved the Strandveld Adamaster 2008, named after the old god of winds and storms. This is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon with a smooth, creamy biscuity character and a long, lingering aftertaste – a perfect food accompaniment.
An unusual wine on offer is Rustenberg’s 2008 Stellenbosch Rousanne. It’s a very charming, fresh wine with complex flavours of peach and apricot. There are not many Cape wines made from this grape variety and this one carried a reserve price of R840 for a six-bottle case. If you want something rather rare and unsual with which to impress your dinner guests, this is certainly one to consider.
Then, of course there were the noble late harvest wines – always the stars of the Nederburg Auction.
Nederburg’s Private Bin S316 Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest and the cellar’s iconic 2001 Eminence were both made from grapes grown on Plaisir de Merle near Paarl, while their Semillon Noble Late Harvest 2000 is from grapes harvested at Altydgedacht in Durbanville.
Top of my list, however is the 2007 Nederburg Edelkeur, a charmer that offers lovely naartjie, tangerine and apricot flavours, all woven together to create the perfect end to a great dinner.
I believe there will be some high prices paid this year, in spite of the global economic “down-turn”.
The list is enough to lift the heart of even the most depressed economist.