Pursuit of Perfection is the theme for the 43nd Nederburg Auction and this is clearly evident in the wines on offer, the judging panel, the wine selection process and how the Auction itself is evolving to ensure it remains relevant, world-class and sustainable.
The Nederburg Auction which takes place in the heart of Paarl’s wine valley, amid vineyard views and beautiful historic buildings that date back to 1800. It is where wine connoisseurs and South Africa’s icon wine producers meet to partake in and celebrate wines marked for their quality, rarity and authenticity.
The international panel of judges, consisting of global wine experts and Masters of Wine (MW), had their palates tested to the limits when they selected the 129 wines from 65 producers for the 2017 collection. The process of tasting, judging and selecting takes place over two days and Michael Fridjhon says “It was clear to me that no effort or expense has been spared in sourcing experienced and credible wine judges. If you’re interested in a slightly archaeological view of Cape wine, you can’t beat a call-up to the Nederburg Auction selection panel.” The oldest member of this years’ collection is a 1957 Chateau Libertas from the Distell Tabernacle, with one of the youngest being the highly acclaimed 2014 The FMC Single Barrel Chenin Blanc from Ken Forrester.
Cathy van Zyl goes on to say “Producers have responded to the call for better quality wines in a most positive way, taking competitions far more seriously and acknowledging the fact that wine tasters and wine judges out there know what they’re looking for and are looking for better quality, better fruit quality, better balance, greater length and complexity. For the past three years that I’ve been judging for the Nederburg Auction there has been a year on year leap in quality in the wines we are receiving.” This is in line with South Africa’s achievements globally.
This years wine line-up is no different and is certainly in pursuit of perfection, one of the greatest stories to be told this year is of the Old Vine Project, a collaboration of three visionary estates, namely Sadie Family Wines, Boekenhoutskloof and Alheit Vineyards. Together, these three are on a mission to produce old vine wines for what they are, unique in every way imaginable. Old vines make wines with a unique character. Wines that reflect the vastness of our South African landscape – our harsh climate, our old and sometimes fragile soils and our complex culture. Five exceptional auction lots includes two of each of the Alheit Cartology Chenin 2011, Boekenhoutskloof Semillion 2004 and Eben Sadie ‘T Voetpad Chenin 2015. Simply put, these wines are unobtainable.
Two remarkable wines, which have come close to perfection, according to Neal Martin, the Wine Advocate and arguably the most important critic in the world are Sadie Family Wines, ‘T Voetpad 2015 and Ken Forrester, The FMC Single Barrel 2014, scoring 97 and 95 respectively. This is an outstanding accomplishment and is testament to where the Nederburg Auction is heading by only offering the best South Africa can produce. Ensuring it offers wines of distinction and of a calibre, which are hard to beat on the international wine stage. “These two examples, amongst many fine wines on auction this year, proves that South Africa without question is only getting better at the top end where our wines are very close to the world’s finest, currently still at a more attractive price” says Dalene Steyn, manager of the Nederburg Auction.
“Nothing that we voted to include will embarrass any members of the panel”, says Michael Fridjhon. A few notable entries to mention are the DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin 2005. DeMorgenzon has taken a very strategic approach to the Auction by entering various vintages of their Chenin to get an idea of the judges’ perception and, amongst others, the maturation potential so they can plan ahead for future auction entries.
Another notable inclusion, the 1994 Stellenzicht Syrah, is described by Roland Peens as “perfectly composed, fresh and complex. The nose shows pure red-berry fruit, hints of spicy oak and an underlying savoury meaty and dried herb complexity. The palate is structured, fine and long with a lovely balance that runs form start to finish. It will drink well for another 20 years.”
Nine debut entrants this year include Blake Family Wines (Red Blend), Catherine Marshall Wines (Pinot Noir), David and Nadia (White Blend), Metzer Family Wines (Syrah), Old Vine Project (Semillon and Chenin Blanc), Rainbow’s End (Cabernet Franc), Spioenkop Wines (Riesling), Stellekaya (Cabernet Sauvignon), Vondeling (Chardonnay and White Blend).
The Nederburg Auction remains one of the world’s top five wine auctions, providing an opportunity to taste nearly all wines on offer before investing in some of the most iconic wines produced in the Cape.
An exciting change this year will see the first day, Friday 15th September, being hosted in Cape Town where all the producers will be available for the pre-auction tasting. This gives those invited to attend the auction the opportunity to meet the creators of the finest South African wines and understand what they have done in their pursuit of perfection. Day two will be hosted at the exceptional Nederburg Estate in Paarl and is a day of indulgence from beginning to end with world-class chefs and baristas delivering their version of perfection before, during and after the Auction.
Nederburg Auction will hold on the 15th and 16th of September, 2017.
For a full list of this year’s Nederburg Auction wine line-up and for tickets and registration, visit www.nederburgauction.co.za.