Distell-owned Zonnebloem is apparently enjoying double digit growth year on year as “youngsters” (25 to 30 year olds) connect with the heritage of a brand which has existed since the1940s.
How to build on this? For one thing, get hot-shot industrial designer Haldane Martin to develop a range of merchandising units for restaurants and bars as well as retail outlets. “We want to promote the idea that Zonnebloem owns craftsmanship,” says global brand manager Dè-Mari Kellerman.
What’s in the bottle also matters and so a tasting of 1974, 1982 and Limited Edition 1995 – seven signatures required to extract these from the Distell wine museum.
The 1975 was memorable – the last vestiges of some red cherry, prunes, cinnamon and cloves and lots of grandma’s cupboard evolved character. Rich and broad but still possessing plenty of detail. Wrap your head around this for an analysis: Abv 14.7%, RS 1.6g/l, TA 4.8g/l and pH3.9. Score: 90/100.
As for the modern era-wines that were also on show, I was particularly taken with the Lauréat 2010, I reviewed this on release back in September 2012 and scored it 16/20 (an 86 or 87 on the 100-point scale) but it’s settled down really nicely and I would now score it 90/100.
A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Shiraz and 5% Petit Verdot, it was matured in a combination of first and second-fill French and Hungarian oak for 14 months. Really good fruit concentration, zippy acidity and firm but fine tannins. Great bang for you buck at R85 a bottle although the faux Petrus label still irks…