We are often asked when a wine should be drunk. Appreciating older or maturing wines is first and foremost a matter of taste, yet to drink a wine when it is too young is, sadly, a missed opportunity. It is not every day that you get the opportunity to engage with wines and discover their subtleties as they evolve towards maturity. These are limited parcels of fine wine from Stellenbosch that offer excellent value while epitomising the joy of mature wines.
Sourced directly from the cellar, the Remhoogte Bonne Nouvelle 2005 is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage and was overseen by the famed French consultant, Michel Rolland. When we tasted the wine late last year we were astounded that this rich, dark and textured wine was still so youthful. If you are after silky tannins and seductive power, this is a joy and is now at its drinking peak.
The Epicurean Red Blend 2010, a small-production Stellenbosch Bordeaux blend, is just starting to enter its drinking window. This project was started by Mutle Mogase, Mbhazima Shilowa, Ron Gault and Moss Ngoasheng and the wine is vinified at Rupert & Rothschild by the winemaker, Schalk-Willem Joubert. With a clear mandate to make wines that offer elegance over brute power, the Epicurean is produced from vineyard parcels that are earmarked with their elegant aesthetic in mind. Similar to the 2006 which we tasted recently, the Epicurean 2010 is classically styled with seductive cocoa and tobacco notes over sour cherry that follows on to a soft, elegant palate. It should evolve beautifully for another 4 – 6 years.
The third example in our journey to maturity is the Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2011. We absolutely love this wine. 2011 is a more approachable vintage for this local Cabernet Sauvignon icon which makes it softer on the palate with a beautiful, poised richness that is both luxurious and satisfying.
To try all three examples, order the mixed 3-pack above and receive free delivery.
The 2005 Bonne Nouvelle was the first overseen by Michel’s wingman, Thierry Harberer. It has impressive precision on the nose with dark cherries, dark chocolate and a touch of scorched earth. The palate is soft and rounded on the entry, very well balanced, caressing in the mouth with a plush, cocoa-tinged finish that slips down the throat beautifully. Bonne Nouvelle is the result of the partnership between Murray Boustred and Michel Rolland. The vineyard stands at the foot of the stony, steep incline on the Simonsberg Mountain located on the Remhoogte Wine Estate. There are 30-hectares under vine and ‘Bonne Nouvelle’ represents a winery selection that is raised for 12 to 15-months in 50% new French oak. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage, though the latter has been reduced in recent vintages from 20% to between 5 and 10%. – Neal Martin, 90/100
Epicurean, Red Blend 2010 – R 575
A blend of 43% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Similar to the 2006 which we tasted recently, the Epicurean 2010 is classically styled with seductive cocoa and tobacco notes over sour cherry that follows on to a soft, elegant palate. This is a fine wine that should evolve beautifully for another 4 – 6 years. – James Pietersen (January 2018)
Rustenberg, Peter Barlow 2011 – R 495
So what about the 2011? The Peter Barlow 2011 impresses us with svelte tannins and gloriously rich fruit whilst the oaking adds to an impression of luxury and opulence. Drinking beautifully now, the 2011 has incredible balance! There is delightful lift that serves as the perfect foil to any sense of largesse. All you are left with is a full, seductive palate that lingers while staying fresh. It is everything that great modern Cabernet Sauvignon has to offer. This delicious wine is more approachable than the recent 2009 and 2010 vintages, nonetheless it will mature easily over 10 – 15 years. Best drunk 2017 – 2028 and beyond. Sure to garner top awards once rated. – James Pietersen (January 2017)