Wine collectors attending the prestigious 2017 Nederburg Auction in September will be treated to a varied selection of Nederburg wines, chosen by an expert selection panel comprising eight judges, six of whom are Masters of Wine (MW).
The Paarl winery's line-up of 16 wines spans four decades, from the 1980s to 2014, and includes six sweet, six red and four white wines. Some are sufficiently age-worthy for further cellaring while others are ready for drinking now, clearly showing the extent of the cellars skilled versatility.
The 1982 vintage of Private Bin Edelkeur, made by winemaking luminary Günter Brözel, will be the oldest Nederburg wine on offer. The renowned noble late harvest, made from botrytised Chenin blanc, has earned Nederburg considerable international kudos over the years, and gave rise to the Nederburg Auction.
It was to work within prevailing legislation that the auction was established in 1975. At the time, the residual sugar content of natural wines could not exceed 30g/l, whereas Edelkeur came in at well over 200g/l. A compromise was reached with the authorities of the day whereby the maiden 1969 Edelkeur, that had already captured significant international attention and acclaim, could be sold on auction to local licensed wine buyers. The organisers decided to use the opportunity to showcase a handpicked collection of other rare and very special wines too. The law subsequently changed but the auction remains a key source of rare and limited-edition connoisseur South African wines, and Edelkeur remains a significant draw card for bidders, fetching impressive prices with its alluring and luscious honey notes backed by vibrant acidity.
Two other vintages of Edelkeur are also poised to go under the hammer this September. They are the 1998 vintage, made by Newald Marais, and the 2013, made by Razvan Macici. The latter was awarded five stars in the 2014 edition of Platter's South African Wine Guide and earned gold medals at the 2015 and 2016 Veritas Awards.
Additional dessert wines on offer include the 2001 Private Bin S316, made from botrytised Weisser Riesling, as well as the 1989 and 2011 vintages of Private Bin Eminence, a natural sweet wine produced from Muscat de Frontignan. The 2011 is a 2013 Veritas Awards double gold medal winner.
This years pick of red wines features the 2003 vintages of Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon and Private Bin R101 Malbec, the 2006 vintages of Private Bin R121 Shiraz and Private Bin R172 Pinotage, as well as the 2001 vintage of Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2012 vintage of Private Bin R181 Merlot, a gold medallist at the 2015 Veritas Awards.
The earliest vintage white wine to be offered is the 2009 II Centuries Sauvignon Blanc, of which only 1 200 litres were made from individual Cape Agulhas and Darling vines. The wine was announced the best wooded Sauvignon blanc at the 2012 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and also earned a gold medal at the 2011 Veritas Awards.
Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Young Airhawk Sauvignon Blanc 2011 will be making its debut. Its also the very first time that a wine from Nederburg's lauded Heritage Heroes collection will be offered for sale at the annual auction. Launched in South Africa in 2012, the exclusive range of wines were created to honour some of the visionaries who have shaped Nederburg and its history as one of South Africas most respected and awarded names in wine. The Young Airhawk commemorates talented young winemaker Arnold Graue, who was also a pilot. He loved exploring big open skies.
The final two white wines are Private Bins: the 2009 D253 Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay, a gold medallist at the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) and a 2011 Platters five-star wine; as well as the 2014 vintage of D234 Sauvignon Blanc.
Says Global Brand Development Manager for Nederburg, Anna-Marie Marks: We are thrilled that 16 of our fine wines will be showcased at this year's auction, with the majority being Private Bins, made for exclusive sale via this channel. And to have wines from ranges other than Private Bin selected is a major coup for our cellar team.
We are also excited to announce that Nederburg will be offering a rare collection of six 40-year-old wines, from the 1977 vintage, for the Nederburg Charity Auction. All made by Günter Brözel, cellar-master at Nederburg for 33 years (from 1956 to 1989), the collection is a fine example of longevity: of the auction, now in its 43rd year, of Brözel, who remains a source of inspiration to the Nederburg winemaking team; and of the wines made in the Nederburg cellars. It comprises a still glowing Edelkeur, an elegant Shiraz, Pinotage, and Baronne (Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz), ready to drink now, as well as an impressive Edelrood (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot), and a Cabernet Sauvignon showing outstanding further ageing potential.
Intended as a tribute to Brözel, the 40-year-old vintage collection also seeks to highlight the creation of Nederburg's very exclusive Private Bin label, Marks explains.
It was in 1977 when Brözel decided to use the occasion of the Nederburg Auction as a platform to the test the appetite for various new styles of wine made at Nederburg. Some were high in sugar, others low; some deep in colour, others robust in character; some smooth and others wood-matured or blended.
It provided him with the opportunity to create a unique name and numbering system for these new and varied innovations, as Nederburg's registered trademarks at the time were inadequate for the number of new wines being made. A certain range of numbers 100 to 200 were allocated to red wines, with the added prefix of the initial letter R(for red); dry white wines were numbered 201 to 300, prefixed by the letter D(for dry); and the noble late harvest and semi-sweet wines were allocated the range from 301 to 400, prefixed by S (for sweet). These wines were given an added exclusivity by the label Private Bin.
To view a video of Brözel reminiscing about the very first auction in 1975 and the formation of the Private Bin range, go to: https://youtu.be/9f3A7aQv7to
The auction takes place at Nederburg in Paarl on Saturday, 16 September. A pre-tasting of all wines to be offered for sale on auction happens on Friday, 15 September, at the same venue.
For more details on these wines, please visit www.nederburgauction.co.za.