The CWG wines of 2016 are the most exciting yet. 2015 is proving to be the finest Cape vintage of modern times and the influx of new blood is challenging the status quo.
Across the board, the 2015 whites have incredible energy, fine balance and classic structure. A number of the whites will outlive the reds on this year’s auction.
The reds mostly continue in their riper style, although there are more elegant, terroir-driven wines than ever before.
Sebastian Beaumont’s ‘Moerse Moer’ Chenin Blanc vies with Adi’s Geel-Kapel as the most daring wine ever at the CWG. It is a terrific addition to the conservative line-up.
Gordon Johnson’s Seadragon Pinot Noir is a cracking debut and it was by far the most talked-about wine at this year’s tasting.
Roland Peens’ top 8
1. Paul Cluver, The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2015
This 30-year-old vineyard has produced its finest wine yet in 2015. Close your eyes and you are sent through the Grands Crus of the Côte de Beaune! The dazzling layers of elegant citrus, almond flakes and mineral notes provide a richly taut structure and detailed finish. A profound Cape white. Drink from 2018 to 2030.
Est: R 4,500
2. Ataraxia, Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2015
A really backward Chardonnay with a deeply elegant nose and steely, finely tuned mid-palate. The acidity is high, but it has stellar fruit concentration for integration down the line. One has to agree with Kevin Grant on this one: it’s the best Chardonnay he has ever produced. Drink from 2020 to 2030.
Est R 6,000
3. Newton Johnson Family Vineyards, Seadragon Pinot Noir 2015
What a debut! Startlingly pure, floral and exotic, this is a hauntingly beautiful Pinot with fine texture and amazing depth. Long, mineral fruit expression on the finish. Unspittable now, best in 3-4 years for added complexity.
Est: R 10,000
4. Boekenhoutskloof, Syrah Auction Reserve 2014
One of the most elegant and yet structured of the reds, showing hints of grapefruit, white pepper and savoury spice. Lots of tension and tannins that will unwind with age. Drink to 2028.
Est: R 10,000
5. Paul Cluver, Auction Selection Pinot Noir 2014
Another cracking Pinot Noir, showing darker savoury fruits with pure acidity and crafted tannins. More serious than the Seadragon, this will age for a decade or more. The Paul Cluver Pinots just get better every year.
Est: R 6,000
6. Etienne Le Riche, Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2013
Classic Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon, what more can you say? It is deep and alluring on the nose with supreme balance, fine tannins and a deep, long finish. Drink to 2030.
Est. R 9,000
7. Silverthorn Wines, Big Dog II MCC 2011
This is one of the most compelling MCCs ever on auction. Almost 5 years on the lees and yet so fresh, limy and elegant. Exquisite detail and structure in a bone-dry, classic style. Drink to 2025.
Est R 3,600
8. Groot Constantia, Auction Chardonnay 2015
A richly styled, tightly wound cool-climate Chardonnay with oodles of flavour, great balance and fine elegance. Delicious already but will gain more complexity with 3-4 years.
Est R 3,600
92/100s: Luddite The Broken Ankle Shiraz, Sijnn /awa, Kanonkop CWG Pinotage and Paul Sauer, Mullineux Clairette Blanche, Beaumont Family Wines ‘Moerse Moer’ Chenin Blanc, Simonsig Mediterraneo, Gottfried Mocke Wine Projects Pinot Noir, Nitida Swan Song Sauvignon Blanc
Estimate given in Rand/6-bottle case, ex-VAT
– Roland Peens
James Pietersen’s top 8
1. Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Seadragon Pinot Noir 2015
2. Mullineux Clairette Blanche 2015
3. Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2014
4. Beaumont Family Wines ‘Moerse Moer’ Chenin Blanc 2015
5. Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2015
6. Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2015
7. Kaapzicht Estate Auction Selection 1947 Chenin Blanc 2015
8. Tokara Siberia Chardonnay 2015
David Brice’s top 8
1. Silverthorn Big Dog II MCC 2011
2. Paul Cluver The Wagon Trail Chardonnay 2015
3. Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2015
4. Tokara Siberia Chardonnay 2015
5. Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Seadragon Pinot Noir 2015
6. Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2014
7. Rust en Vrede CWG Auction Estate 2013
8. Etienne le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2013