On Thursday the Cape Winemakers Guild held the first tutored wine tasting since 2019. I was privileged to be there, and to be one of the first to taste this year’s auction wines.
The Nedbank CWG Auction showcases rare and unique wines produced in small quantities exclusively for the auction by its members, a group of highly respected winemakers who hail from appellations across the length and breadth of the Cape winelands. This year’s auction will see a total of 43 wines from 30 guild members on offer. These comprise 14 white wines, 26 red wines, two Cap Classiques and one Cape Tawny.
The Guild was formed in 1982, and consisted of eight independent winemakers looking for inspiration within each other and to bring out to best of each other. Forty years later and the fundamentals have remained the same, only now it has grown to include forty-eight of South Africa’s finest winemakers.
There were some exciting debuts included in this years auction; including one of my standout wines, the very first single-vineyard Chenin Blanc from the Beaumont cellar in Bot River. The Guild’s first 100% Mouvdedre from Niels Verburg. The first single-variety Pinot Meunier Cap Classique ever released in the country from Stellenbosch estate Simonsig. As well as David Sadie’s brilliant debut auction wines; his Veiling Grenache being another of one of my highlights of the show.
Below I outline some of my highlights of the tasting, which could in fact be a very long list. With this calibre of winemakers in one room it was hard to find fault. I did find that the wines are becoming more and more accessible each year; the members have moved away from the notion that this is an opportunity to show off and produce big, bold competition wines full of new oak, the wines now show more restraint and finesse. It is an opportunity to the winemakers to explore and flourish within their territory and specialities.
- Beaumont Family Wines ‘Hope’ Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2020 (Sebastian Beaumont). The first official single vineyard release from the acclaimed Hope Marguerite vineyard, and one of this flagship’s key components. A classic and elegant expression. Delicate steely nuances, green apple, pear, honey suckle. Slightly more inhibited than its sibling.
- Mullineux The Gris Sémillon 2021 (Andrea Mullineux). “62 years ago, Chubby Checker popularised The Twist, the first weather satellite was launched, Albert Camus died. Bono was born, the laser was invented, JFK was elected US president, a loaf of bread cost 9 cents, To Kill A Mockingbird was published, South Africa was not a republic, the first animals were successfully sent into Earth’s orbit and back, the heart pacemaker was invented and these heritage vines were planted in the Swartland”. This wine was breathtakingly beautiful and admirably intellectual. A silky mouthfeel with notes of stone fruit and delicately scented white florals.
- Warwick The White Lady Auction Chardonnay (JD Pretorius). “The nose is restrained and focused, citrus, stone fruits. roasted almonds, yellow apple and oatmeal. The palate is packed with fruit weight, green apple, citrus and spice, balanced by fresh acidity.”
- Lismore Estate Vineyards Valkyrie Chardonnay 2021 (Samantha O’Keefe). “Intense citrus and stone fruit layered with jasmine, walnut, honey and vanilla, carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.”
- David & Nadia ‘Veiling’ Grenache Noir 2021 (David Sadie). The only Grenache in the auction and one of the few lighter style reds. Soft and vibrant David’s Grenache Noirs always seduce me. Extremely elegant with a wonderful purity of fruit.
- Strydom Family Wines The Game Changer Cabernet Franc – Merlot 2017 (Rianie Strydom). “Perfume, glazed red cherries and fresh raspberries with hints of graphite on the nose. The palate has a soft entry, elegant spicy mid-palate, red fruit power and finishes with a chalky edge.
- Miles Mossop Wines Maximilian 2019 (Miles Mossop). “Intense aromas of cassis and bramble fruit emanate from the glass with underlying notes of tobacco, cedar and toast. The palate mirrors the nose with a dry textured finish and lingering freshness.” Underlying power.
- Savage Wines Auction Syrah 2020 (Duncan Savage). “Lifted floral notes, white pepper, black olive and fynbos”. The idea of this wine was not to extract but rather show the perfume and spice of Syrah, a little bit of structure enclosed in Savage elegance.
The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction, will be held on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October 2022, and hosted by Strauss & Co. South Africa’s leading art and wine auction house.
This Virtual Live Auction will be held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West and will take place over two days, Friday evening and Saturday during the day.
All the wines that will be going under the hammer will be offered on both days. Guests will have the opportunity to attend and bid live in the auction hall or virtually live from anywhere in the world. Being a virtual live auction, online, telephonic and commission bidding will also be available. Those wishing to bid will be able to register online with Strauss & Co from Monday, 12 September 2022 at www.straussart.co.za.
For more information https://www.capewinemakersguild.com
Download the full catalogue here