Auction Season - a preview
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Driving to the CWG tasting I found myself wondering just how much the new selection criteria was a posturing exercise and if it would translate into better wines.

The answer is an unequivocal yes – for the posturing exercise, no just kidding – the wines were delicious showing more balance and purity than I have seen before from the Guild.

Another preconceived notion I nearly quashed was that the whites would be way better than the reds but the gap has closed. Some of the alcohols were a bit hot but oaking more restrained and the fact that many of them were 09 - which most have lauded as best ever for the Cape – also must have helped close the gap. Some of the reds still showed unwanted residual sugar.

Over in Paarl, Nederburg have also re-jigged their selection criteria - including, for example, sommeliers in the selection panel – and have achieved similar results although the new CWG technical criteria may have excluded one or two Nederburg Auction wines.

Hopefully it all translates into healthy prices at the auctions but if not organisers can point to tough economic times. On that note, the rich creaminess of Graham Beck 2005 bubbly was sumptuous enough to keep those thoughts at bay as was the toastyness of the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 05 at the Nederburg tasting.

Although I have a Sauvignon Blanc bias my stand out CWG white (not all tasted) was Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010 which displayed passion and grapefruit intensity this writer has yet witnessed in SA – and it was 100% oaked 50% new. Part of the secret besides Duncan’s deft hand is a paltry 2t/ha from extreme vineyards.

Others I enjoyed a touch more than most include Teddy Hall’s Chenin 2010 for its Loire-like notes with new world fruit exuberance, and Paul Cluver Wagon Trail Chardonnay 09 which wouldn’t look out of place in a Burgundy line up.

Read on.

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