On Sunday, a meeting of our social tasting group, the theme of the evening Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blends. We tasted blind and here’s how I scored the wines using the 20-point system.
1.= Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2005
Slight tertiary character to otherwise shy nose. The palate very much intact with great intensity and bright acidity. Very wide range of flavour including lime, black currant, green melon, paprika and a slight aged-derived nuttiness. Splendid. Score: 18/20.
1.= Tokara Director’s Reserve 2010
Aromas and flavours of lime through black currant to peach as well as an attractive note of vanilla. The palate is very primary but shows great purity and flavour intensity. Focused and precise. Score: 18/20.
3.= Domaine de La Solitude Pessac Léognan 2009
Peach, yellow apple, honey and some leesy character on the nose and palate. Acidity relatively soft and tangy. Possesses a noble rusticity – quite clearly French. Score: 17/20.
3.= Vergelegen 2007
Subtle but complex nose showing lime and a attractive herbaceous character. Lean and austere on the palate, but very much together. A very persistent, dry finish. Score: 17/20.
5.= Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2006
Dusty,herbaceous nose. The palate is lighter bodied with lime fruit and bright acidity. Elegant but arguably a bit too green. Score: 16/20.
5.= Groot Constantia Gourvernuers Reserve 2010
Slight pyrazine note on the nose. The palate is clean and fresh with lime fruit and subtle oak-derived vanilla flavours. Very primary now, this should gain complexity with a year or two of bottle age. Score: 16/20.
5.= Oak Valley OV 2008
Extremely reductive on the nose. The palate shows super-ripe fruit and tangy acidity. A bit odd but not unappealing. Score: 16/20.
8. Steenberg Magna Carta 2007
The nose shows pyrazine, green melon and asparagus. Rich and full on the palate with juicy fruit and moderate acidity. Has a sweet ‘n sour character. Also peppery, earthy flavours. Controversial – some liked it for how expressive it was, but I thought it was past its peak and somewhat unbalanced. Score: 15.5/20.
General observations: 1) The overall quality of the category really is extraordinarily high – please can we have more; 2) Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2005 really is the stuff of legend – is winemaker Duncan Savage destined to spend the rest of career attempting to recreate this one wine?