Melvyn Minaars blog on Waterkloof:
Waterkloof 2009, for one, wows.
Happenstance, during the ‘cellar hunt’ for festive libation, delivered a six-case of somewhat forgotten smart sauvignon blancs from the fine 2009 vintage. What a treat it turned out to be.
Not really cellared at optimum condition (the ‘cellar’, in this case, was more of a dark corner in the garage), the six different wines were brilliant proof that decent sauvignon only comes into its own after a few years. Five of the bounty were under screw cap, which also makes a point.
The six wines showed differently – as would be expected from their different origins – but overall there was deep satisfaction in experiencing their ‘ripeness’. A kind of ‘adulthood’ to pleasures that, three years ago, were pretty things.
The four that truly shone – probably beyond their original high Platter star ratings – were Springfield Special Cuvée, Diemersdal Estate, Shannon Sanctuary Peak and, the prince of them all, Waterkloof.
There is a good reason for Waterkloof sauvignon’s fame, and this 2009 vintage confirms everything about that. From the vibrant freshness, the rounded, dense intrigue on the palate, the wine is showing hardly any age. Just more complexity and greater depth.
Although one would think that serious sauvignons like these would immediately recall tastes from the Loire and Bordeaux, we agreed that the different bottles (all from different regions) showed specifics that could well be regionally local. And all the better for that.
*Just to confirm appreciation for older SBs, (sadly the Waterkloof bottle was empty), we enjoyed an Austrian. The 2007 Pössnitzberg (under screw cap) that winemaker/owner Erwin Sabathi from Weingut Sabathi gave me a few years back, was in tip-top condition. All smoke, stone fruit, hay, richness and yet an ethereal length. (A European cousin of the delicious Waterkloof, in fact.)