What I Drank Last Night
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Woolworths Nederburg The Winemaster’s Reserve Grenache 2010

Super-duper.

Super-duper.

So far MasterChef SA has been pretty lame if not utterly cringeworthy but it’s all made better by the discovery of The Winemaster’s Reserve Grenache 2010, made by Nederburg in collaboration with retailer Woolworths in their capacity as co-sponsors of the television series.

The wine contains 90% Grenache and 10% Carignan, the Grenache from Nederburg’s own relatively new plantings in Paarl, the vineyards dryland and un-trellised and the Carignan from 30-year-old vineyards between Paarl and Riebeek-Kasteel. In the cellar, the wine was aged in a selection of second-, third- and fourth-fill French and Romanian oak barrels for 18 months.

Cellarmaster Razvan Macici advises that the Carignan provides colour and structure relative to the Grenache which is “all about pepper and spice”. It’s super stuff managing to be easily accessible but also utterly involving. Red fruit and, yes, plenty of spice on the nose before a palate that is medium bodied with good fruit concentration, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. Overall, great balance and very more-ish. Quite primary now, I would say it’s well worth keeping for a year of three. Score: 17/20.

Macici says that if Woolworths hadn’t gone for it, it would have ended up under an auction-only Private Bin label. “I’m delighted to have it in the bottle and in general circulation”. Yours for the princely some of R59 a bottle.

Comments

  1. I only opened one of my bottles tonight. At first i was very disappointed . After an hour i decided to have another glass this time better.  Not in my top 5 red wines under r100.00. But mullineux kloof street definitely is

  2. Opened the bottle this weekend, fantastic wine for the price!  I’m heading back today to pick up some more.  I would like to drink some now and a few years down the road to see how it fairs. 

  3. Kwispedoor says:

    Thanks, Christian – I finally got a bottle.
    @ Will: It started out just slightly shy on the nose, with red fruit and just a little spice and a  whisper of wood. As it spent some time in the glass, the red fruits really blossomed and vanilla custard became evident. The palate had a medium-bodied structure, with full-bodied alcohol. The texture was slightly creamy, but there was plenty of freshness from the acidity. Fairly low in tannin, with a sweet wood impression and the littlest bit of bitterness (not unpleasant – let’s call it “grip”) on the aftertaste. Though the alcohol was just not perfectly balanced, considering the medium body of the wine (after all, this is not a big, tannic Cabernet), it’s only a small criticism – and negated easily enough by cooling down the wine to a touch cooler than normal proper red wine temperature. The cooler temperature did nothing to numb the fruit, as the wine was absolutely gushing all sorts of red fruit, with just a ghost of nice gravel in there. The vanilla custard on the nose and the sweet wood impression on the palate makes me wonder if we have full disclosure about the wood treatment, but then I’m not exactly an authority on Romanian oak (or anything else, I’d say)… I enjoyed the wine’s individuality, freshness and those red fruits hammering my palate and it’s quite drinkable too: I finished two thirds of the bottle yesterday evening, after planning to drink about a third. Not the best red under R100, but certainly a very good buy at R60! 

  4. As I tweeted last night, I bought 6 bottles from Gateway Woolies while we are down for the holis in Ballito. Couldn’t resist trying a bottle last night. I didn’t find the wine sweet and extracted at all. For me it was medium bodied, elegant, soft tannins with a lean savory mid palate and a long saline finish with pepper and subdued red fruit. Would NOT blind taste it as an SA wine. Will have to Taste a 2nd bottle to see if there is bottle variation. Great effort and great value. Well done Allan and Christian for identifying it as a worthy recommendation.

  5. Christian says:

    Woolworhts wine selector Allan Mullins says Nederburg The Winemaster’s Reserve Grenache 2010 is working gangbusters: “We expected sales of between R10 000 and R12 000 a week but it’s up around R30 000″. Total production: 3 500 x 6. Is stock going to last until the end of the MasterChef series? “We’re working on a 2011. It’s a bit of a rush…”, says Mullins.

  6. Finally got around to picking up a bottle at Woolies… looking forward to opening it this weekend.  Hopefully the Mother City will cooperate and give me some nice weather for a braai to go along with it.  

  7. Friday night dinner with wine maker friend and the Nederburg Grenache.  Calling the wine primary is an understatement.  I found the wine overly sweet and with a hell of a lot of vanilla on nose and palate.  Not at all the style of wine I enjoy.  Consensus from the other 2 that its very sweet and ripe.  A few sips and the rest went into Sunday’s oxtail.  Very disappointed, but at the price we probably shouldn’t be.  

  8. Christian says:

    The full list of Woolworths stores stocking Nederburg The Winemaster’s Reserve Grenache 2010: Arcadia Pta, Atterbury Pta, Bayside Cntr CT, Bedfordview Jhb, Belvedere Road CT, Benmore Gardens Jhb, , Big Bay CT, Blairgowrie Jhb, Blubird Centre Jhb, Blue Route CT, Broadacres Jhb, Brooklyn Pta, . Bryan Park Jhb, Bryanston Jhb, Bulwer Road Dbn, Campus Square Jhb, Canal Walk CT, Cape Gate CT, Cape Town Airport, Cascades Centre Pmb, Castle Walk Pta, Cavendish Square CT, Cedar Square Jhb, Centurion Mall Pta, Chilli Lane Jhb, Clear Water Mall Jhb, Constantia Village CT, Cresta Jhb, Crowthorne Jhb, Dainfern Jhb, Dean Street CT, Delcairn KZN, Doringkloof Pta, Douglasdale Jhb, Durbanville Cbd, East Rand Mall Jhb, Eastgate Jhb, Edenglen Jhb, Eldoraigne Pta, Faerie Glen Pta, Farrarmere Jhb, Florida Glen Jhb, Fourways Jhb, Garden Route Mall, Gardens CT, Gateway Dbn, George Cbd, Gift Acres Pta, Glen Garry CT, Granada Centre Dbn, Grayston Drive Jhb, Greenacres PE. Greenside Jhb, Greenstone Hill Jhb, Grey Owl Midrand, Hans Strijdom Jhb, Hazeldene Pta, Hermanus CBD, Hillcrest KZN, , Honeycrest Randpark, Honeydew Jhb, Hout Bay CT, Howick KZN, Hydepark Jhb, Killarney Mall Jhb, Kloof Street CT, Knysna Mall, La Lucia Dbn, Linksfield Jhb, Lonehill Jhb, Long Beach Mall CT, Lynnwood Rd Pta, Magalies View R/Burg, Maponya Mall Soweto, McKeurtan Ave Dbn, Melrose Arch Jhb, Menlyn Pta, Midlands Mall Pmb, Milner Road CT, Morningsidewedge Jhb, Musgrave Dbn, Nelspruit CrossingNorthcliff Jhb, Northgate Jhb, Northwold Jhb, Old Bakery CT, Olivedale Jhb, Paarl MallPaddocks CT, Palmyra Road CT, Panorama CT, Park & Shop CT, Parklands CT, Parktown Quarter Jhb, Parkwood Jhb, Paulshof Jhb, Piazza St John CT, Plettenberg BayPreller Sq BloemRivonia Jhb, Rondebosch Corp, Rosebank Jhb, Ruimsig Jhb, Sandridge Sq Midrand, Sandton City Jhb, Shelley Beach KZN, Somerset Mall S/West, Somerset West CBD, South Downs Jhb, Steenberg Village CT, Stellenbosch Square, Sunward Park Jhb, The Glen Jhb, The Grove Pta, Town Square Jhb, Tyger Valley CT, V&A Waterfront CT, Valley Centre Jhb, Vincent Park EL, Walmer Park PE, Watermeyer Park Pta, Waterstone S/WestWest St Dbn, Westcoast Mall CT, Westville Mall Dbn, Westville Pavilion, Westways Jhb, Willowbridge CT, Woodlands Pta, Woodmead Jhb, Zambezi Junction Pta.

  9. @KWISPEDOOR – i dont know my fellow wine friend. I am stuck in the fairest Cape. I am pretty sure it should be there. Perhaps find out from the cellar where it will be available? My guess would be the bigger malls should have it. I am hoping to find a few bottles myself for the weekend as I am aware that not all Woolies stores stock this wine. Only selected stores. I hope you can find some. Good weekend! Cheers

  10. Kwispedoor says:

    @ WILL – I’ve been to two different Woolies outlets today and found no trace of this wine. It looks like Woolies is a bit slow to offer the biggest wine buying market in the country a chance to taste this wine… Please share the knowledge if anyone knows where it’s available in Gauteng!

  11. Christian says:

    Hi Will, I think the Neil Ellis Grenache is something pretty special, perhaps a bit richer than the Nederburg. For me, however, Grenache is best utilised in a blend. No doubt a big future for the warmer climate varieties – the point has been made often enough that South Africa winelands are generally more Mediterranean than continental. Mediterranean areas such as southern France, Spain and Portugal, are basically warm and the only route to complete wine is through blending. The grapes ripen optimally, but don’t usually display sufficient complexity on their own.

  12. @KWISPEDOOR – Would love to hear your thoughts on the wine. Please let us know.
    @CHRISTIAN – how would you rate this wine with the rest of the few examples of Grenache in ZA? And secondly – how do you anticipate the growth of “warmer” varieties such as Carignan and Grenache? In my opinion – it is long time overdue…anyways –> have a great weekend y’all!

  13. Christian says:

    Hi Darryl, If I could spend all Saturday afternoon drinking Mullineux Kloof Street, Nederburg Grenache and Reyneke Syrah with a tjoppie or two and a lot of boerewors, I’d be a happy man. Hope for SA red yet,

  14. So, the new best red under R100 then?

  15. DPJ1963 says:

    Thanks Christian. Sounds like a decent tip worth pursuing for a big family braai in 3 years time:) Grenache is such a crowd pleaser when properly handled. Too few fine examples in SA.

  16. Kwispedoor says:

    How times change. Years ago, buying something from Nederburg’s “normal” range would have been as far-fetched as a pink rugby jersey with tight-fitting pink shorts. I’ll be off to Woolies soon enough, but white and orange still works far better for me on a rugby field.

  17. Man I love a decent bargain. Woolworths here I come!

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