Cape Winemakers Guild tasting 2011 review

I’ve  been quite spoilt the last few weeks as I’ve attended two wine festivals/tastings which are probably the best of the lot. I recently attended Caroline’s Red Wine review which was top class and last night I attended the Cape Winemaker’s Guild tasting. I had attended this last year and you can read my review of that for my thoughts on the tasting and what makes it such a good event. For more information on the Guild itself, check out the Guild website.

This year I found the wines a bit less experimental. The Guild encourages the winemakers to experiment and make unusual wines. It is quite risky though as the wine may not turn out so great or may appeal to a more limited audience. Last year there were quite a few wines made in unusual ways, this year there seemed to be less of those. The silver lining is that there were very few wines that were not awesome, in fact everything I tasted was either really good or awesome.

The wines that really stood out for me were (in alphabetical order):

Boplaas Cape Vintage Auction Reserve 2006
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2009 *
Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010 *
De Trafford Sijnn Touriga Nacional 2009
Graham Beck Three Thousand and One Nights 2001 +
Graham Beck Non Plus Ultra Cap Classique 2005 +
Hartenberg Loam Hill Merlot 2009
Haskell The Expatriate 2009
Louis Turtles All The Way Down 2009 (interesting story about the name!)
Luddite The Reserve Shiraz 2008
Rust en Vrede Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Saronsberg Die Erf Grenache 2010
Steenberg The Magus 2010 (sauvignon blanc)
Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir Brut MCC 2008 *

The problem with tasting these great wines is that they are not available for purchase. These wines are made for the Guild auction so if you want something, you need to go along and bid. However, if the producer does not have two guild wines (strict selection criteria) then they can show something else which is available for purchase. So in the list above, those I have marked with asterisks are actually available for purchase, the rest only at the auction. The ones I marked with a plus were my absolute favourites on the night.