Nederburg is probably the most famous South African wine estate, not least because it is the most decorated.
Established in 1792 in the Paarl Valley it hosts the biggest wine auction in South Africa every year, which is open to any producer who’s wine passes the stringent selection process and includes Nederburg’s own wines. They have also been at the forefront of introducing new technology and techniques into winemaking that the rest of the wine industry in the country have followed. The Cape Dutch manor house built in 1800 – a National Monument – receives thousands of visitors from around the world every year and stands as a proud symbol as to how wine is made at Nederburg.
I bought this wine the other day on a whim while grocery shopping and was glad I did as it is one of the best value-for-money wines I have ever bought. It is made from grapes sourced from vines that are between 10 – 30 years old in the Durbanville, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Darling regions. Harvested by a combination of hand and machine during February and March, the grapes are crushed and cold-fermented at 13°C in steel tanks for 2-3 weeks. A proportion receives skin contact for a few hours before the free-run juice is drained and left to ferment on lees for 2 months before blending and bottling. The winemaker is a guy by the name of Tariro Masayiti who’s story alone is a very interesting one, not least because his roots are in Zimbabwe but also because he is the first black student to have graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a degree in Viticulture and Oneology.
Once in the glass, this wine is a brilliant lemon-lime colour to the eye with a vibrant herbaceous/grassy, gooseberry bouquet with a hint of ripe citrus fruit – unmistakably a Sauvignon Blanc.
On the palate the wine is very well balanced between fruit and acid: crisp and fresh with a pleasant lingering finish. It tastes like a freshly cut pasture with a few gooseberries thrown in to mask the grassiness and soften the flavour and alcohol content which, at 13.5% is relatively high for this variety. It needs to be drunk chilled and goes best with seafood such as oysters and mussels, white fish in a creamy sauce and certain chicken dishes. It also goes surprisingly well with asparagus.
Available at time of publication from ASDA on special offer for £4.00 per bottle – worth buying at least 6 bottles at that price.
Marks out of 100 – 85