Top US ratings for South African shiraz

30 September 2011

A Hartenberg Shiraz crafted exclusively for the 2011 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction by acclaimed winemaker Carl Schultz was rated at 90 and 91 points by two leading wine commentators at tastings of this year’s auction line in New York.

As one of South Africa’s oldest shiraz-producing estates, Hartenberg enjoys a reputation for high-end quality and consistency, with a track record spanning nearly 40 years.

Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth awarded the Hartenberg Shiraz CWG 2009 91 points with the following description: “This ripe, fleshy red offers linzer torte, blackberry paste and fig sauce notes, carried by enticing spice and black liquorice hints.

“The long, juicy finish lets the fruit drip nicely.”

Steve Tanzer of the authoritative International Wine Cellar, who found the average level of quality of this year’s auction wines higher than ever before, gave the wine a 90-point rating, describing it as “rich, creamy and sweet, with easygoing dark fruit and wild herb flavours nicely framed by harmonious acidity.

“This silky-sweet shiraz finishes with ripe, dusty, building tannins and good structure for aging.”

Unique and contrasting places of origin

According to a statement this week, the Hartenberg Shiraz CWG 2009, the 10th Hartenberg Shiraz vintage to go on auction this year, is composed of two unique and contrasting places of origin.

This rare wine is a blend of the best single barrel of the deep, clay-rich Stork vineyard and two barrels of the stony Gravel Hill vineyard, the two vineyards of Hartenberg’s sought-after top-tier shiraz wines. The blend then spent 22 months maturing in French oak barriques.

The wine impresses with white pepper and truffle notes on the bouquet, opening up to violets and black fruit, while the palate shows beautiful elegance and poise with silky, polished tannins and a dry, savoury finish.

“The wine is about a sense of place, reflecting the unique and different sites that combine to make up the wine,” said Schultz, winemaker at Hartenberg for the past 18 years.

South Africa’s leading wine auction

The Hartenberg Shiraz CWG 2009 is one of 56 wines to go under the hammer at the 27th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction at the Spier Conference Centre outside Stellenbosch on Saturday, 1 October.

Recognised as South Africa’s leading wine auction, open to the wine trade and the general public with an annual turnover of around R4-million, the prestigious Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction features an impressive line-up of 56 wines this year.

All the wines are crafted exclusively for the auction to represent the pinnacle of what can be achieved in South African winemaking.

SAinfo reporter

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material