What I Drank Last Night
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Lanzerac Pinotage 1968

A beaut.

A beaut.

Another stand-out wine from the “Old Wines Tasting” held before Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show was the Lanzerac Pinotage 1968. Red and black cherry plus some some forest floor character on the nose and palate – fully mature but still very much alive. Striking fruit purity – not unlike Pinot Noir but possessing more weight. Rich but balanced thanks to bright acidity. I fear they don’t make them like this anymore.

Score: 90/100.

Comments

  1. Christian says:

    Hi Kwispedoor, The questions you pose are entirely relevant. Fundamentally, however, I view wines in current circulation differently to “old” wines – rightly or wrongly. Who knows how long the Muratie Ansela van de Caab 2009 will really last? In suggesting that it should be drunk between now and 2017, I’m simply saying that this is when I think the majority of wine enthusiasts will get the most joy out of it. Tasting 45-year-old anything, on the other hand, is more or less academic. Giving the Lanzerac ’68 a score of 90 is not to short-change it but rather to leave room for when somebody opens really decent kit of similar age from one of the world’s great terroirs. I’m more or less going on instinct here…

    • Kwispedoor says:

      I understand what you’re saying, Christian, apart from “Giving the Lanzerac ’68 a score of 90 is not to short-change it but rather to leave room for when somebody opens really decent kit of similar age from one of the world’s great terroirs.” – surely that same principle should apply equally to younger wines?

      Also, the Lanzerac has ALREADY proved its brilliance over extended maturation – which is no mean feat. I’m of course basing this on your words, not your score. I’m not saying that I expected you to score the Lanzerac 99 or 100 points (10 points is a lot to play with, given the weirdness of the 100-point system), but, having read what you’ve written about it, I would have expected somewhere between, say, a 93 and 96. A score like that would not have seemed out of place to me, having seen what you’ve scored some other pretty good but comparatively unremarkable wines before. This would also have left some room for wines made from the world’s great terroirs to score higher. After all, the creator of the 100-point system didn’t exactly flinch to award a wine 100 points: there were many of those. I think some of the great wine labels of the world sometimes disappoint (even/especially when very old), while a few – just a few – of our older gems will hold their own in blind tastings.

      Even if you scored the Lanzerac 90, but scored the recently reviewed Ansela 85 and the recently reviewed Baronne 74, it would have made more sense to me (relative to each other, considering your accompanying reviews in words). Alas, all of our attempts to score wine are probably folly in any event… I’m copying your review and score of your favourite wine at the equivalent 2012 tasting below, which made a whole lot more sense to me:

      “Wine of the tasting, however, was Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 1973. Dark red with very little browning in colour, the wine showed red and black fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. Great purity and focus, still remarkably tight and primary. “Not unlike top Graves or perhaps Figeac,” suggested Brian Croser, Australian industry stalwart and one of the three international judges at this year’s competition. My score: 19/20″

      Thanks for a really enjoyable blog!

  2. Kwispedoor says:

    Hi, Christian. I don’t want to harp on too much about scoring, which is probably the least important thing about a review, for me personally. But I do suspect you might be scoring these a bit low? Looking at the Lanzerac, I see words like “… stand-out wine…”, “…very much alive. Striking fruit purity…”, “A beaut.”, “Rich but balanced…”, “I fear they don’t make them like this anymore.”, but a score of only 90 – one that many wines on your blog get.

    In a recent red review, you gave a 2009 Muratie Ansela van de Caab 91 points. This is just one point more, but since 99% of wines are scored between 85 and 95, it stands to reason that one point out of ten is significant. About the Ansela, you say that it “… should drink well until 2017.” That’s eight years from vintage, while the Lanzerac apparently still shines brightly after 45 years.

    Don’t get me wrong, I also like the Ansela. It’s just that, reading your shining review about the Lanzerac, I wished that I was there, longing to also taste this Grande Dame that has been shaped through the ages into something very special. And then I get to the score… just a 90?

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