Our old friends Vergelegen drop into FINE+RARE for a tasting

“The cr*p about collecting wine is just that, cr*p. Wine is there to make the journey through life more enjoyable”. Put in a way that only South Africans’ seem to be capable of expressing, we raised our glasses to this sentiment from Andre Van Rensberg, but I made sure to write some surreptitious notes along the way too.

2011 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 16.5+/20
Very “South African” nose which is clean, green and fresh with yellow grapefruit notes. The palate has sharp melon notes, searing acidity and clear minerality too. Long, it has a very nicely textured palate, good weight.

2008 Reserve Semillon 18/20
I wanted to say “typical Semillon rubber nose” but in fact it has a lot of fresh fruit and that “stones after spring rain” smell; Which makes the palate even more surprising because it is a combination of creamy and sharp lemon, with some spice on the end, good length and buttery, wow.

2010 Reserve Chardonnay 16+/20
The Chardonnay seems almost simple after the Semillon! Not as rich or complex but still it has nice sharp fruit and a round palate, all in balance, some nice spice but I think this is young and will age well.

2009 Flagship White Blend 17/20
Initially the nose is very reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and the palate is initially a little bit smoky bacon. The wine is, however, fresh and has good balance, complex, unusual, quite hard to describe. I think it would pair with BBQed tuna steak.

2006 Reserve Shiraz 17/20
Vibrant, fruit nose with hints of layers still to come. Surprising palate which has an awful lot of spice, hovers just between an old world Rhone and a new world fruit bomb. Finishes on smoky meat but is impressively fresh too, very smooth body.

2006 Reserve Merlot 16/20
Hot yellow peppers on the nose. Spicy palate. Good body and length, its nice but this is not a Merlot as we know it. I think if I ordered this as a Merlot I would be disappointed, and if I wanted a wine of this profile I would not order a Merlot! Finish lets it down slightly.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon 16+/20
Nice Bordeaux blend with just a hint of a South African spin to it. Good length and balance, spicy notes, does not seem to be too much fruit here but it is very drinkable.

2005 Flagship Red Blend GVB 17+/20
Sweet ripe hedgerow berries dominate the nose and move onto the palate too. There are an abundance of cherries and blackcurrants, the tannins are firm and this has real length. Definitely one for lamb, this is definitely what I was looking for from these reds.

2007 Vergelegen V 17/20
This “V” seems like a more subtle version of the flagship red. Not designed to be better per say, but in my mind has more subtlety, more spice, more smoke and is long and remains ripe and full. This is one for beef and I feel I would have enjoyed it more with food.

An offer is to come soon but feel free to contact wine@frw.co.uk for information on any of the wines mentioned here.