|The limited-edition quartet features two carefully wooded 2011
varietal whites and two 2009 red blends, both exceptional vintages. Known
collectively as Heritage Anthology, each of the very food-friendly wines
pays tribute to a personality who has shaped Nederburg's history,
highlighting his or her invaluable contribution.
Grapes, all hand-picked and then hand-sorted at the cellars, have been
sourced from top-performing vineyards. A fifth wine is to be released in
several months' time.
The 2009 vintage Rhône-style blend of Grenache, Carignan and Shiraz is
called The Motorcycle Marvel and is a homage to celebrated winemaker Günter
Brözel, who played a leading role in building Nederburg's reputation as the
most awarded winery in South Africa.
As Nederburg cellar master, Razvan Macici explains: ''A maven and a maverick,
this 20th century winemaking legend was known for his exceptionally high
standards. Getting around on a 250cc BSA motorcycle, he attended to everyone
and everything to ensure his exacting demands were being met. He was
absolutely meticulous and refused to countenance mediocrity in any of his
team.'' It's not surprising then, that in 1985, he won the International Wine
& Spirit Competition's Robert Mondavi International Winemaker of the Year
Award. He was the first winemaker in South Africa to achieve this
He was a great pioneer and created the noble late harvest wine Edelkeur that was launched at the first Nederburg Auction in 1975 and to this day is
sold exclusively through this channel. He is an icon in South African
winemaking and has been a major source of inspiration to me and our cellar
Brözel joined Nederburg in 1956 and retired in 1989.
Its sister Heritage Anthology blend is in the style of Bordeaux, led by
Cabernet Sauvignon and including Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It
has been named The Brew Master, for Johann Graue. The owner of a leading
brewery in Germany before he came to South Africa, he bought Nederburg in
1937. He had been trained as a viticulturist and set about advancing the
quality of vine planting material to ensure he could make top-quality wines.
He kept very careful records of the performance of his vines, noting the
impact of location and specific clones, setting a precedent that was to be
followed later by others in South African winemaking. According to Harris,
he introduced many technical innovations and created the foundation for
excellence followed by his successors.
Graue's son, Arnold, trained in Germany and was groomed to take over from
his father. Although he won many prizes during his short career in the late
1940s and early 1950s and also introduced several innovations in the cellar,
he died tragically in a light airplane accident and was eventually replaced
by the young Brözel.
The Young Airhawk is intended to honour him, says Macici. It is an
oak-fermented Sauvignon blanc that spent 10 months in wood, made from grapes
sourced from three different areas, each with a distinctive profile.
The final wine in the quartet is a gorgeously golden, wooded Chenin blanc
and is called The Anchorman after Nederburg's founder, Philippus Wolvaart,
who was granted the farm he called Nederburg, in 1791.
The wines are expected to retail for around R97 for the whites and R105 for