Wine Blogging Wednesday #6 is upon us, with the theme being set by Cook Sister – “South African Red”. As mentioned in the previous post I decided to have a blind tasting. The selection of South African reds was not great at my local bottleshop, and so I decided to get a mainstream Australian brand that would be available broadly overseas in an effort to try and not use my knowledge of more boutique Australian wine to give it an unfair advantage. The price of both bottles was $11.95 Australian, I would have liked to sample a more expensive duo, but the limited range of South African wines made it difficult.
Both wines were 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2002 vintage. Read on to find out how things went.
The procedure – Since I had to buy the wines, I knew what both wines were (Winery, variety, vintage etc). I had my friend pour two glasses while I wasn’t present, with the glass on the left being “Glass A” and the glass on the right being “Glass B”. A note was inserted into a black sock by my friend which covered each bottle, which indicated which bottle had been poured into each glass. The notes were not checked until after I had written my notes below.
“Wine A” - A medium violet colour, moving out to a deep ruby red on the fringes. The aromas consisted of integrated oak playing a supporting role to the blackcurrant and berry aromas. Smooth, medium bodied palate with only a slight hint of oak behind more prominent blackberries. This wine pulls up rather short on the finish.
I can’t see this getting better with bottle age, it should be drunk over the next 12-18 months.
Rather un-inspirational overall, without suffering from any showstopping faults. Clearly made for immediate consumption as an “everyday” table wine. 84 points.
“Wine B” – An appealing opaque violet in colour, this wine was more powerful than Wine A on the nose with heavy, spicy ceder oak aromas dominating with a hint of mint and what I thought was eucalyptus. The palate follows the nose, being a more full bodied expression of Cabernet Sauvignon that Wine A, dominating oak and what seemed to be slightly stressed berry fruit. There was an unpleasant green edge to the medium length finish.
I’m divided as to whether the oak will integrate or if the wine will start falling to pieces with time. I’m leaning towards the latter since it’s a bit too disjointed and the fruit seems too stressed to come together in my opinion and I would probably drink soon.
I think that this was probably a poor vintage for this wine with stressed fruit and a green edge. 85 points with a potential to go higher if bottle age treats it well.
Before revealing the respective bottles, I guessed that “Wine A” was the Australian wine and that “Wine B” was the South African. My reasoning? I thought that Wine B wasn’t quite like cheaper Australian Cabernet Sauvignon that I’ve had in the past, with a much more powerful aspect to it.
“Wine A” was the Jamiesons Run Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2002.
“Wine B” was the Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2002.
Neither wine excited me, but to be fair, they are both the bottom of each companies Cabernet Sauvignon range. At $12 a bottle (discounted from RRP) though, I would have liked to see something slightly better from both. I wonder if the Nederburg would show better in a different vintage.
While my experience with the South African Red was not outstanding, I would be interested in trying more South African wine in the future, with a bit more research involved next time!
Thanks for the interesting topic Jeanne, and I’ll see everyone next time for WBW #7!