Awarded 93 points in the newly released 2017 South Africa Special Report by authoritative British wine commentator Tim Atkin MW, Nederburg's Two Centuries Sauvignon Blanc 2016 represents the highest scoring of eight Nederburg wines given Medals of Excellence.
Atkin's top scores for Nederburg wines had been from across the range and pricing spectrum, from the hand-made, small-editions to those sold more widely.
Two Centuries Sauvignon Blanc 2016 is made from individually selected vines identified within top-performing Darling blocks. It forms part of Nederburgs exclusive Two Centuries collection of luxury, hand-made, site-specific single varietal wines that express exceptional terroir. They are released only in exceptional vintages from individually bunch- and then, hand-sorted fruit.
Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Young Airhawk 2016 was scored an impressive 92 points. A wooded Sauvignon blanc, The Young Airhawk features in the Heritage Heroes range, comprising five gourmet wines, each representing one of the visionaries who have shaped Nederburg and its history as one of South Africas most pedigreed names in wine. The Young Airhawk specifically remembers talented young winemaker Arnold Graue. Known for his winemaking prowess, he introduced many technical innovations at Nederburg in the 1940s and early 1950s. He was also a keen young pilot, who loved to explore the wide open skies of Southern Africa.
Nederburg's The Winemasters Noble Late Harvest 2016, one of the winerys most awarded wines made from hand-picked botrytised Chenin blanc grapes, achieved 91 points in Atkin's report.
And the 2016 vintage of Nederburgs Heritage Heroes The Anchorman, a wooded Chenin blanc, took 90 points. It commemorates Nederburgs founder, Philippus Wolvaart, who bought the farm in 1791 and planted Chenin blanc, amongst other varietals. The same vintage was recently selected as one of the winning wines of the 2017 Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge, convened by South Africa's Chenin Blanc Association. Earlier this year, the same vintage was awarded platinum at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards for best South African Chenin blanc (priced at over ?15).
The Paarl winery's Ingenuity trio of innovative blends an eight-way white ensemble of the 2016 vintage, led by Sauvignon blanc; an Italian-style red blend of 2013 that combines Sangiovese, Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes; as well as a plush Spanish-style blend of 2014, comprising Tempranillo and Graciano each also took 90 points, as did Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.
In his sixth annual guide to South Africa, Atkin states that the Cape is making the best wines in its 358 year history and its industry is dynamic, exciting and still evolving. South Africa, he says, is a match for any other New World country in terms of quality and ahead of the field on value. Yet he warns that while low prices are good for consumers, such bargains are less beneficial for grape growers and wine producers. The country needs to charge more for its wines, and we should be prepared to pay for such excellence.
Meanwhile, another Nederburg wine, the Private Bin D252 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016, was recently awarded 93 points in Winemag.co.zas Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend & Wooded Sauvignon Blanc Report 2017. The highest score assigned by the judges, it shares the honour with only four other wines. Nederburg's Private Bin label is reserved for exclusive sale on the annual Nederburg Auction. The 43rd edition of the event takes place at Nederburg in Paarl on 15 and 16 September.
Buy Nederburg's Two Centuries, Heritage Heroes, Ingenuity and The Winemasters ranges online at www.vinoteque.co.za, or via fine wine outlets.