South African white wines again caught the eye at the annual Nederburg Auction selection, with several world-class Chenins and Chardonnays selected for the Auction proving that these varietals benefit greatly from further ageing.
Wine Cellar’s Roland Peens, one of the Auction selection panel members, says Chardonnay has again shown its brilliance. “Not only does it age phenomenally well, but the younger examples on auction this year have carved a niche in the international market.”
He singled out the Domaine des Dieux Chardonnay 2010, De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 1993 and first-time participant Kershaw Wines Clonal Selection Chardonnay 2012 as his picks in this category.
Tasting convenor and sommelier Higgo Jacobs favoured the Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2013, winner of the Chardonnay du Monde best Chardonnay worldwide. He believes it will perform well on the auction. “Cape Chardonnays are really competitive and world class at the moment,” he commented.
Auction manager Dalene Steyn agreed: “SA’s top Chardonnays can compete with the best in the world and it continues to be one of South Africa’s top categories. For now, it sells at lower prices than the best of the rest of the world, but I don’t believe that will last for much longer.”
She says the white wine line-up in general is wonderfully fresh, having gained complexity, balance and structure that allow for further ageing. Steyn singles out the Chenin Blanc category as her highlight of the 2016 Auction offering, thanks to the inherent complexity of the varietal.
Peens concurs, saying the Chenin and Bordeaux style whites are “similarly exquisite, produced in elegant and emphatic styles that also age with grace”. “White Bordeaux blends are undervalued in South Africa, but delicious, and offer great longevity for the cellar,” he says.
He loved the Raats Family Chenin Blanc 2009, while Jacobs predicts that the Constantia Glen Two 2013 and Bloemendal Kanonberg 2014 will do well on the Auction.
Jacobs also singled out the Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2008 as a great example of an older vintage of Chenin that is still wonderfully fresh and perfumed, but with developed complexity.
As Auction tasting convenor, he has long held that South African dessert wines are our strongest but most undervalued category. From this year’s line-up, Jacobs picked the Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc Noble Late Harvest 2010 as his favourite, predicting that it “would probably go for a steal”.
Wines sold at the Nederburg Auction are awarded the Auction Seal of Approval, proof of their provenance in line with the event’s mission to ensure that rare, iconic wines with long-term ageing potential are hand-picked each year to ensure the legacy of the country’s best.
The Nederburg Auction takes place this coming Friday and Saturday, 16th & 17th September, at Nederburg.