No fewer than 30 wines out of a total of 68 entries received a rating of 90 points or higher on the 100-point quality scale in the third annual Signature Red Blend Report recently released by Winemag.co.za.
Why should South Africa be bound by the Bordeaux model when it comes to creating great blended red wine? Here at Winemag.co.za we want to promote the idea that potentially anything goes when it comes to blending – all varieties are eligible as long as they contribute to greater complexity in the final wine – and we’ve come up with the collective name of “Signature Red Blend” for such wines.
A perennial stand-out wine is the Bakermat from Paarl property Joostenberg – 94 points for the 2014 vintage, 92 for the 2015 and now 93 for the 2016, the blend this time around consisting of 43% Syrah, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Mourvèdre and 6% Touriga Nacional. Cellar door price: R210 a bottle.
Offering great quality relative to price, meanwhile, is the Villiera Down to Earth Touriga Nacional Shiraz 2015 – a wine which rated 90 points and sells for R56 a bottle from the farm.
By way of benchmarking, there were two French wines in the mix, Chapoutier Rasteau 2015 (available from Cape Town retailer Wine Cellar priced at R280 a bottle) and Domaine Grand Veneur Le Miocène 2015 (Wine Cellar price R470 a bottle). The former, a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah, rated 89 and the latter, a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, rated 90.
Wines were tasted “blind” (labels out of sight) by the three-person panel and the wines rated 90 points or higher were as follows:
Babylonstoren Babel 2017
Joostenberg Bakermat 2016
Olifantsberg Silhouette 2015
Org De Rac Die Waghuis Red Blend 2016
Donkiesbaai Rooiwijn 2017
Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 2016
Fairview Extraño 2015
Glenelly Estate Reserve 2012
Springfontein Limestone Rocks Whole Lotta Love Cape Red Blend 2015
Vrede en Lust Artisan Range Merlot Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Wildehurst Red 2014
Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel S.M.V. 2015
Glenelly Estate Reserve 2013
Haskell II 2014
Luddite Saboteur Red 2016
Muratie Melck’s Shiraz Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Opstal Carl Everson Cape Blend 2016
Leipzig Master Blend 2017
Boland One Formation Pinotage Shiraz Grenache 2016
DeMorgenzon Maestro Blue 2015
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocene 2015
Fairview Homtini 2016
Lammershoek Terravinum Reserve Red 2016
Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel 2016
Rust en Vrede 1694 Classification 2015
Rust en Vrede Estate 2015
Strandveld The Navigator 2015
Thorne & Daughters Wanderer’s Heart 2017
Under Oaks French Flair 2015
Villiera Down to Earth Touriga Nacional Shiraz 2015
Vondeling Monsonia 2015
To read the tasting report in full, go to Winemag.co.za.