This class line up confirms that Vergelegen is one of the very best
producers in South Africa. Part of the diamond and mining operation
Anglo American, they were already doing pretty well when they signed
superstar winemaker Andre Van Rensberg from Stellenzicht in 1998.
Since then, progress has been onwards and upwards. The estate has just
over 100 ha of vines (that's a reasonable size), the first of which
were planted in 1989. Prices are very reasonable considering the
quality (in the UK they range from £6.49 to £14), and most of these
are available in either Oddbins or Sainsburys.
Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Modern 'boiled sweets' nose is rich and ripe; the palate is very
rich and rounded, with good concentration. Very good
Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (cask sample)
A super effort. The nose is really lively, with a fresh, green,
gooseberry-laced character. The palate is bright and intense, with
great concentration. Very good/excellent
100% barrel fermented, 50% new oak, aged in barrel for 7 months.
Another super effort. The lovely, rich nutty nose shows toasty oak.
The palate is intense, with rich, ripe fruit. Very attractive: rich
and spicy. Very good/excellent
Chardonnay Reserve 1999
Fermented and aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak, this is a
single vineyard wine. It's a classy wine, but I actually prefer the
richness of the regular Chardonnay. Lovely rich toasty nose has
complex savoury notes. The palate is classy and quite lean, with
savoury, nutty fruit.
Deep coloured wine showing rich, leafy blackcurrant fruit on the
nose. Another classy palate combining berry fruit with a spicy
richness. Very good+
Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 6% Cabernet
Franc. Lovely leafy, cedary blackcurrant fruit on the nose leads to a
palate showing rich fruit, underpinned by good tannins and a mineral
streak. Lean and restrained. Very good/excellent
The flagship wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot
and 5% Cabernet Franc, that is aged for 22 months in new oak. It's a
classy red, showing a lovely density of rich fruit with a nice leafy
edge to it. With well integrated oak, it's well balanced despite the
great concentration, and there's a minerally complexity. Very
Tasted May 2001 at the Decanter
Rising Stars Fine Wine Encounter