What I Drank Last Night
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Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1959

The oldest swinger in town.

It is tradition to mark the start of judging of the annual Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show with a tasting of old South African wines (whites fifteen years after vintage or older and reds 25 years after vintage or older).

Yesterday’s line-up included such stand-out wines as Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 1986, GS Cabernet Sauvignon 1966, Lanzerac Pinotage 1961. However the wine that seemed to most wow the audience collectively was Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1959 (from half-bottle).

“Put that in a line-up of 1959s from Bordeaux and it would’ve knocked most of them out of the field,” said international judge Neal Martin (based in the UK and The Wine Advocate’s South African reviewer). The wine was extremely tertiary on the nose but displayed a surprising amount of juicy red fruit on the palate before a delicious soy sauce finish; medium bodied and very elegant.

Comments

  1. Shane Gordon says:

    I was privileged to taste the GS 1966 at a tasting of French wines I hosted for the Tygerbergse Wyn Gulde in January 2010. The bottle tasted on the night was the standout wine of the tasting displaying perfect balance between fruit; acidity, tannins and alcohol. It had excellent length for a wine of this age and would not be out of place with any 1st growth or equivalent wine of a similar vintage.

  2. Chris Alheit says:

    I’ve had two bottles of the 1961 of the same wine recently, both were epic. I’ve also tasted both the GS 66 and 68 and to my ming theses early zonnebloems are tops.
    I’ve got one bottle left and am thinking of sharing it with friends tonight. Let you know how it goes.

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