A wine worthy of a standing ovation
“Superb”. “Spectacular”. “Exquisite”. These were just a few descriptions attributed by media and top buyers at the recent Auction Preview tasting to what was widely considered as the stand-out wine at the event – the oldest dessert wine in this year’s line-up for the 2012 Nederburg Auction, the 1977 Vintage Edelkeur from Nederburg.
Edelkeur is Nederburg’s signature dessert wine and the raison d’être for the Nederburg Auction. Produced from a single block of botrytised Chenin Blanc, it was made by Nederburg’s legendary cellarmaster Günter Brözel, who overcame a particularly wet winter to produce a remarkable wine. “Noble rot grows in moist, humid conditions, often brought on by summer rains, followed by moderate temperatures and enough of a breeze to ensure good air circulationthrough the vine canopies. The winter of 1977 was almost catastrophically wet,” recalls Günter.
Clearly it wasn’t nearly enough to render the grapes useless. This highly decorated amber-coloured wine is an exquisite example of its type, displaying aromas of fruit, burnt wood, coffee bean and smoke with smooth, rich and concentrated characters and excellent limpidity, colour and persistence. Still very vibrant, it is smooth and rich and concentrated with a perfect balancebetween fruit and sugar.
View this tribute to a remarkable man who paved the way for the noble late harvest category in South Africa and provided the inspiration for an Auction of rare wines to be an industry showcase for the country’s best, rare wines.
Just two cases of the 375ml bottles, at a reserve price of R2 400 per case of 12, will come under the hammer of auctioneer Anthony Barne MW on Saturday 29 September. The Edelkeur is one of ten extraordinary wines included in the Private Collection category that opens Saturday’s bidding floor. The Private Collection is a niche category that was launched at the 2011 Nederburg Auction, reserved especially for extraordinary wines available in extremely small quantities – literally the last case in a producer’s collection.
“It is iconic wines like this that reinforce how important it is for us not to lose sight of the history and heritage associated with South Africa’s wine culture,” says Nederburg Auction manager Dalene Steyn. “We are enormously thankful to winemakers like Günter, who pass the mantle on to younger winemakers to continue producing quality wines of origin that can be distributed via a platform like the Auction.”
A case in point is the more recent vintage of Nederburg’s Edelkeur – the 2007 – made by current cellarmaster Razvan Macici, which is also on offer this year. With awards that include gold at the 2009 Michelangelo International Wine Awards, gold (best in class) medals at the 2009 and 2010 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), a gold medal at the 2011 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and a gold medal at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards.), the vivacious younger counterpart of the Vintage Edelkeur was rated 20/20 by wine writer Christian Eedes at the Auction Preview, describing it as ‘intense apricot plus a botrytis-derived mushroom-like note. Intense, focused, balanced. Riveting acidity. Goose-bumps inducing stuff.”
A total of 15 Noble Late Harvest wines will be sold at the 2012 Nederburg Auction, including a selection of Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest, Semillon Noble Late Harvest and Eminence wines from Nederburg, as well as the Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2007, and the 2008 Riesling Noble Late Harvestfrom Paul Cluver. For further information about the 2012 Nederburg Auction and the wines on offer, visit www.nederburgauction.co.za