What I Drank Last Night
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Nederburg Ingenuity Red 2008

Curious.

Okay, I need to come clean: I’m as big a fan of Razvan Macici and his Nederburg winemaking team as anybody and I’m all for innovative blending but I just don’t get the top-end Ingenuity Red, which typically sees Sangiovese, Barbera and a dash of Nebbiolo in combination.

Maiden vintage was 2005, and the wine has gained more and more critical acclaim with each subsequent release, the 2007 rating 5 Stars in Platter’s 2011. However, I’ve always been left somewhat bemused by it, finding it pleasant enough but lacking the same distinction as its multi-varietal white companion wine.

Along comes the 2008, a blend of 45.5% Sangiovese, 45.5% Barbera and 9% Nebbiolo selling for R239 a bottle. There’s very ripe red and black fruit as well as some spice and earthiness – not unattractive but I did wonder if the wine was meant to appear so developed at this stage. In structure, medium bodied and this along with a sweetness on entry and relatively soft tannins make it easy to drink although a fresh acidity stops the whole experience from becoming too ordinary. Good but not outstanding. Score: 15.5/20

Comments

  1. I agree and disagree…. I tasted the maiden 2005 for Platter and gave it 4 stars (while the White went forward to start its 5-star career). The 2006 was much better, I thought and I gave it 4.5. That’s what I’d have given the 2007 also, but I was no longer the taster and it was nominated for, and achieved, 5 stars. But the 2008 seems a much lesser wine to me, and I’m pretty disappointed by it. That said, it was a difficult vintage.

  2. Agreed – the Red is hugely overpriced, but the White is something special.

  3. I have to agree with you there. The ingenuity white seems to pull the red along with it. Since I have tasted these two I have always thought the white was streaks ahead of the red. The Platter 5 star was a little confusing. 

    What I remember from tasting these two together recently was that the red lacked edginess, definition, simply not a thrilling wine. Where the white did all of these things.

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