Wineries and retailers don’t push up the costs of their wine for reasons unknown, says South Africa’s Best Young Sommelier.
Wines should be put away for long stretches, transport costs paid, new costly oak wine barrels purchased, and stops tried for quality, clarifies Wikus Human, who was named SA’s best youthful sommelier by the South African Sommeliers Association in 2017.
Human is head sommelier and beverage manager of Marble restaurant in Rosebank, Gauteng.
“South Africa is also going through a period of heavy drought which leads to less yield on farms,” Human told Business Insider South Africa.
“The less yield there is, the less wine there is. Wine farms need funds for the next harvest.”
He said older vines yield less, which increases production costs.
Excluding aged wines and rare wines bought on auction, these are the five most expensive wines you can buy in South Africa right now, according to Human.
Sadie Family Columella 2015: R795
inemaker Eben Sadie from Swartland uses a mix of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Tinta Barocca, and Carignan grapes to produce a wine with “great acidity with a fine tannin structure”.
It has flavours of blackberries, plums, white pepper with spice found both in the nose and the palate, says Human.
“I’ve tasted some older vintages of this and it is off the charts.”
Mvemve Raats MR de Compostella 2015: R1,150
A blend Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes were used to make this Bordeaux blend. It has a firm tannin structure, says Human, with flavours of black currants, black cherries, cedar and baking spices.
Human says the wine can definitely age for many years to come.
“A very good expression of a Bordeaux blend.”
Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2015: R1,750
A 100% Pinotage made from an old single vineyard in Stellenbosch. The wine is an “absolute fruit bomb of red fruits with hints of black fruits” and has a bold tannin structure with a sort of elegance to it, Human says.
“Definitely a wine to buy and store for a few years.”
De Toren Black Lion 2015: R2,500
Winemaker Albie Kock used 100% Shiraz grapes in Stellenbosch to make a wine with a “firm tannin structure.”
Human says the wine has flavours of black cherries, slight cassis notes, leather, slight meaty notes and white pepper.
“On to the palate medium to full bodied with the flavours on the nose following through onto the palate.”
The Cab Franc 2014: R5,000
A wine with a good structure on the palate, but not forced to be “overly big,” Human says. Winemakers Niels Verburg and Brian Smith collaborated to make this 100% Cab Franc wine in the Botriver area.
“The wine’ palate offers black fruits, perfume, liquorish and beautiful savoury notes.”