Robertson Rediscovered

Neil Pendock June 27, 2013 2

Is Robertson the most underestimated wine appellation in SA? Next month’s Wine Spectator cover story claims Stellenbosch has more vineyards and while SAWIS figures beg to differ, Stellenbosch does win in one important area: perception. Which in these days of marketing spin and sighted wine guides, is all that matters… until the cork is pulled. When Anibal Coutinho and I blind tasted several hundred Robertson wines last year, our doors were blown off. Our thoughts:

Peter de Wet, next generation Robertson winemaker

Peter de Wet, next generation Robertson winemaker

Nine Robertson Bubblies

♥♥♥♥♥ Graham Beck Cuvée Clive 2007 sparkling rich toasty peaches and candied yellow apricots with a dry finish. Captivating.

♥♥♥♥ Weltevrede Philip Jonker Brut The Ring 2007 sparkling limes and yeast, sweet pastries and hints of caramel with a lingering chalky finesse

♥♥♥♥ Windfall Mendola 2007 cream, nuts and chalk

♥♥♥ Robertson Winery 2007 steely with a fine mousse and citrus fruit

♥♥♥ Graham Beck Brut Zero 2006 rich ripe fruit, apricots, some herbal sap and boney minerality

Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2008 sparkling creamy tropical fruit. Silky texture with fine and gentle bubbles.

Jacques Bruére Brut Reserve 2008 sparkling botrytis honey nose tropical palate

The Ruins Sparking Colombar 2011 floral fresh lime flowers, zippy acids, stone fruit flavours, clean and intense.

Jacques Bruére Blanc de Blanc 2008 sparkling bones and minerally, hints of honey

A Brace of Rosé MCCs

♥♥♥♥♥ Jacques Bruére Cuveé Rosé 2006 sparkling candied red fruits from Pinot, chalky minerality from Chardonnay

♥♥♥♥♥ Graham Beck Rosé 2009 sparkling petrol minerality, citrus zest and yeasty bones, needs time

Five Robertson Chenin Blancs

♥♥♥♥ Rietvallei Classic Estate 2012 Ripe tropical fruit with some citrus notes. Persistent finish

Wandsbeck Revelation White 2011 oily mouthfeel, tart fruit with a dash of honey

Rooiberg 2012 floral buds and petals, well balanced acid and fruit profile

Robertson Winery 2012 Tropical fruit weight. Drink up before the honey bees arrive

Van Loveren No.5 2012 honeysuckle, soft palate, clean

Eleven Robertson Sauvignon Blancs

♥♥♥♥ Rietvallei Classic 2012 grassy, tomato leaf, dense flavour. A food wine

♥♥♥♥ Robertson Winery Fat Bastard 2011 complex nose, some grass, straw, thatch and spicy tropical fruit

♥♥♥♥ Springfield Special Cuvée 2011 sweet/sour character, asparagus and tomato leaf. Good with Asian food, definite mineral structure

♥♥♥ Arabella 2012 cola nut, full ripe spicy palate, creamy texture

♥♥♥ De Wetshof 2011 good varietal nose, asparagus and sweet tropical fruit palate

♥♥♥ Goedverwacht Good Earth 2012 good varietal character, creamy yet tangy pith

♥♥♥ Bonnievale 2012 tomato leaf and green pepper, fruit sweet, pale green

Danie de Wet 2012 shy and charming nose, floral and appealing, very well done

Van Loveren 2012 tropical, some palate weight

Lord’s 2011 hints of toast, citrus pulp and zest.

Robertson Winery 2012 floral nose, fat and rich palate

A Robertson Riesling

♥♥♥ De Wetshof Riesling 2009 oily mouth palate, petrol nose, acacia pollen and turpene with a grippy palate

A Robertson Colombar

Bon Courage André Fame Colombar 2012 rich, tangy fruit

A Brace of Robertson White Blends

♥♥♥♥ The Ruins Chardonnay/Viognier 2012 peachy, minerals from Chardonnay, extremely spicy

Bon Courage Hillside White 2012 good commercial style with plush fruit

Seventeen Robertson Chardonnays

♥♥♥♥♥ De Wetshof Finesse 2010 mineral style, finely boned. Best Robertson Chardonnay IMHO

♥♥♥♥♥ Springfield Methode Ancienne 2009 toasty oak, deep and intense, long finish

♥♥♥♥ De Wetshof The Site 2011 appealing apricot nose, sweetly fruited, more fruit driven than mineral

♥♥♥♥ Rooiberg Chardonnay Reserve 2011 serious palate weight and butterscotch, nuts and chalk

♥♥♥♥ Robertson Winery Fat Bastard 2011 fabulous rich nose, tropical fruit, oily texture, sweet finish

♥♥♥♥ Robertson Winery Kingsriver 2009 rich and ripe, good intensity plus toast

♥♥♥♥ Arendsig 2011 benchmark Chardonnay: apricots, peaches, delicious palate

♥♥♥♥ De Wetshof Bateleur 2009 a chalk cliff dotted with apricots and almonds, XL body with a big finish

♥♥♥ Ashton 2012 floral nose, fresh, herbal notes and candied white fruit

♥♥♥ Christina Van Loveren Chardonnay 2011 oily, nutty and spicy

♥♥♥ Goedverwacht Great Expectations 2012 fruit driven, nuts and flowers

♥♥♥ Graham Beck Chardonnay 2010 butter and honey with fresh tropical fruit well balanced

Sumsaré Chardonnay 2011 toasty peach cheesecake apricot and honeysuckle tang

De Wetshof Limestone Hill 2012 sweet tropical fruit, nuts, some coconut and long finish

Robertson Winery 2012 floral nose with chalky peaches

De Wetshof Limelight 2011 tangy fruit, sound commercial wine

Esona Chardonnay 2010 steely, fruit sweetness

A Robertson Viognier

Excelsior Viognier 2012 peachy, fresh with sweet finish

A Quartet of Robertson Rosés

♥♥♥♥ Arabella Pink Panacea 2012 dusty greenpepper, fresh cherries and veggies, firm and vibrant palate

Lord’s The Wicked Maiden Rosé 2012 green coffee beans and chocolate

The Ruins Rosé 2012 strawberries and cream

Van Loveren Blanc de Noir Red Muscadel Blush 2012 an old lady’s handbag of a wine. Captivating tropical fruit and orange peel

A Trio of Robertson Pinot Noirs

♥♥♥♥♥ Rietvallei Classic Estate Pinot Noir 2010 cinnamon and fynbos, spicy and super fresh

♥♥♥♥ De Wetshof Pinot noir 2009 chocolate, black cherries, spicy fynbos

♥♥♥ Robertson Winery Pinot noir 2011 fresh cherries, vanilla essence and toast

A Quartet of Robertson Merlots

♥♥♥♥ Arabella 2011 sweet plums and cherries with some mint

♥♥♥♥ Kleinhoekkloof 2008 veggie nose, good intensity, herbal mint and spicy oak

♥♥♥ Robertson Winery 3L BiB 2012 red and green bell peppers, spice

Robertson Winery 2012 red fruit and olive spice

A Trio of Robertson Pinotages

♥♥♥ Ashton Pinotage 2010 meat, sweet fruit, well-made

♥♥♥ Rooiberg Pinotage Reserve 2010 green banana, fresh and clean

Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Pinotage 2011 fresh bananas, some earthy notes, rustic tannins

Seventeen Robertson Shirazes

♥♥♥♥♥ Graham Beck The Ridge Syrah 2009 benchmark Shiraz, superb oak balance, world class

♥♥♥♥♥ Esona Shiraz 2010 super intriguing nose, deep red and black fruit flavours

♥♥♥♥♥ Mimosa Shiraz 2011 strawberries and white pepper, superbly silky, world class

♥♥♥♥ Kingsriver Shiraz 2008 shy nose, intense black plum flavours and chocolate, fine vinosity, understated and oak well managed

♥♥♥♥♥ Major’s Hill Shiraz 2008 huge wine, intense plums and chocolate fruits, silky palate

♥♥♥♥ Ashton Shiraz 2011 spicy tobacco, fresh, consummate winemaking with rich finish

♥♥♥♥ Viljoensdrift River Grandeur 2011 shy nose but a packed palate of red and black fruits, pastilles

♥♥♥♥ Sumsaré Shiraz 2008 exotic perfumed nose, red currants and vanilla spice

♥♥♥ Bonnievale Shiraz 2010 fresh and light, very dry finish

♥♥♥ Excelsior Paddock Shiraz 2010 silky palate, tangy fruit, discretely oaked and elegant

♥♥♥ Robertson Winery Shiraz 2011 tangy fruit, some mint, fresh

♥♥♥ Bon Courage Inkara Shiraz 2010 Coffee mocha, very good example, spicy and fruit driven, lovely oak management, for a younger audience

Windfall Shiraz 2008 baked fruit, silky palate

Windfall Shiraz 2009 peppered meat and plums, fruit sweet

Kranskop Shiraz 2009 red cherries and plums, dry finish

Weltevrede Bedrock Black Syrah 2011 mocha, candied red fruit, well done toasty

Van Loveren Tangled Tree Spicy Shiraz 2012 fresh and clean elegance and sweet fruit

A Six Pack of Robertson Red Blends

♥♥♥♥♥ Rietvallei Special Select Esteanna 2009 austere tannins, fresh mint and spice, classic Bdx minerality lingers for ever, lacks those pesky coastal pyrazines

♥♥♥♥ Springfield Work of Time 2006 overripe fruit nose, remarkably fresh, jammy red and stone fruit, tangy

♥♥♥ Bon Cap Perfect blend 2009 powerfully fruit driven, fruit is sweet and those bananas are green

♥♥♥ Thunderchild 2008 baked fruit, austere, pepper and a hint of leather

Zandvliet My Best Friend Red 2009 2009 lovely strawberry fruit, clean and lingering finish

Windfall Barrel 41 2009 Xmas cake nose, elegant palate, raisined fruit

A Dozen Robertson Cabernet Sauvignons

♥♥♥♥♥ Springfield Methode Ancienne 2004 remarkably fresh still bursting with red and stone fruit, tobacco spice and huge length

♥♥♥♥♥ Windfall 2009 Fresh and light as a feather. Spicy red fruit, plums with mineral undertones. Remarkable

♥♥♥♥♥ Prospect Hill 2008 wonderful sweet fruit, pastry and tobacco, poise, balance

♥♥♥♥♥ Arendsig 2011 brambles and cassis, sweet and sour fruit creamy palate, fresh

♥♥♥♥♥ Rietvallei Classic Estate 2010 silky and elegant, fresh strawberries, fine flavours

♥♥♥♥ Excelsior Evanthius 2007 ripe fruit, complex, rich, blackberry and blackcurrant, cinnamon and tobacco

♥♥♥♥ Bon Courage Inkara 2010 coffee sweet fruit good commercial style, silky well balanced and fresh

♥♥♥♥ Windfall 2007 classic blackcurrants, tobacco and mint, long finish

♥♥♥ Goedverwacht Maxim 2010 plums, dry tannins and fresh red bell peppers

Wandsbeck 2009 good commercial, jam and tobacco

Robertson Winery 2011 fruit driven, juicy, super fresh nose

Kranskop 2009 fine and elegant black plums, pepper and chocolate

A Robertson Ruby Cabernet

Robertson Winery 2011 fresh and fruity

Seven Robertson Stickies

♥♥♥ Christina Van Loveren Noble Late Harvest 2009 honeyed cinnamon spice, raisins, nuts and dried apricots

♥♥♥ Rooiberg Red Muscadel 2009 candied stewed fruits and caramel

♥♥♥ Wandsbeck Red Muskadel 2010 appealing Turkish delights, apricots and orange jam

Bon Courage Red Muscadel 2012 cherry delight

Wolvendrift Red Muscadel 2011 red cherries to the max, flowers and hay, super sweet

Bon Courage Gewurztraminer Special Late Harvest 2012 roses, citrus pulp and zest and those floral acids cut the sugar

Lord’s Nectar 2011 Nouvelle super grassy and creamy with good balance

2 Comments »

  1. CHRISTOPH June 29, 2013 at 11:50 am -

    Amazing ! will try some of these on my next trip to SA…Lekker

  2. CHRISTOPH June 29, 2013 at 11:50 am -

    Amazing ! will try some of these on my next trip to SA…Lekker

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