Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Leading London Fine Wine Merchant puts South Africa’s Super Premium Bordeaux 2004 Bordeaux Blends

to the Test in a Star Studded Line Up in London in March 2009.

Leading London independent fine wine merchant, Handford Wines based in South Kensington, London, and who have historically stocked one of the best ranges of South African wine in the UK, recently hosted a block buster blind tasting line up of South African Flagship red Bordeaux blends from the illustrious 2004 vintage. The blind tasting, jam packed with icons and award winning reds, was presented by two Masters of Wine, including one of South Africa’s very own, and only the countries 4th to achieve this prestigious qualification, Greg Sherwood MW. The tasting line up featured:

Buitenverwachting Christine 2004, Constantia

Sherwood Berriman 2004, Constantia

MR de Compostella 2004, Stellenbosch

Vergelegen V 2004, Stellenbosch

Meerlust Rubicon 2004, Stellenbosch

De Toren Fusion V 2004, Stellenbosch

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2004 (in Magnum), Stellenbosch

Morgenhof Estate Red 2004, Stellenbosch

Beyerskloof Field Blend 2004, Stellenbosch

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2004, Stellenbosch

Warwick Trilogy 2004, Stellenbosch

Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2004, Western Cape

Presented in four flights to a panel of expert fine wine consumers, tasters were required to rank their first, second and third best wines, rating their first choice 3 points, their second choice 2 points and their 3 choice 1 point. Scores for the twelve wines were tallied at the end of the tasting and then wines were revealed.

Other than the Constantia pair that opened the proceedings, the evening in reality doubled up as a battle of the blue blooded Simonsberg / Stellenbosch “grand cru classe” blends from South Africa’s prime viticultural region. In assessing the results, Master of Wine Greg Sherwood said “it was always felt that it was going to be a close run affair. With such a high level of quality across the line up, the wines did South Africa proud. There can be no doubt that SA produces some of the best examples of a Bordeaux blend in the world.”

Based on the blind consumer scoring system, the results were as follows:

1 Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2004 with 33 points

2 Vergelegen V 2004 with 11 points

3 Warwick Trilogy 2004 with 10 points

4 MR de Compostella 2004 tied on 9 points

5 Meerlust Rubicon 2004 tied on 9 points

6 De Toren 2004 Fusion V 2004 tied on 9 points

7 Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2004 tied on 9 points

8 Buitenverwachting Christine 2004 with 8 points

9 Rustenberg John X Merriman 2004 (Magnum) with 5 points

10 Beyerskloof Field Blend 2004 with 3 points

11 Morgenhof Estate Red 2004 tied on 2 points

12 Sherwood Berriman 2004 tied on 2 points

Greg Sherwood MW continued “the congestion of scores around 9 points was pretty much what we expected might happen with so little separating the quality of this batch of prestige red wines. James Handford MW added “I had rather expected a few more stand out block busters in the line up, but overall, the quality was consistently very high. If you consider the price of these wines in relation to the best from Bordeaux, France or Napa Valley, they represent exceptional value for money and importantly, wines that are definitely ageworthy – something important for fine wine collectors globally.”

Greg Sherwood concluded “the is no question that along with Syrah, Syrah blends and a perhaps a handful of top Cape blends, the Bordeaux red blend is certainly one of the strongest cards in the South African wine industries hand. No doubt about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts in this case!”

Tasting hosted by Handford Wines on the 25th March 2009.

105 Old Brompton Road
South Kensington
t 0207 589 6113

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