Back in the 1980s, the rule of thumb was even over odds when it came to vintage variation. Was the Rustenburg 1982 the best SA red ever made? 1976, 1978 were stellar. 1977 and 1979 were dogs. After tasting 126 Pinotages at the ABSA Top Ten Pinotage judging at Nederburg last week, it’s looking like a new rule is establishing itself: odds over evens.
2011 wines were fantastic. 2010, less so. As international judge Guido Francque (above) commented “there was too much winemaking in 2010.” 2005, 2007 and 2009 also delivered the goods.
On the subject of Rustenburg, Daniel Toledo, chef-patron at Il Leone (above) commented “you won’t believe how many diners send back the John X Merriman when it arrives with a screw cap. Locals and foreigners alike are not prepared to pay +R200 for a bottle with a screw cap.” We settled on a Webersburg Cabernet which was both sub R200 and closed with a natural cork. It was delicious.