This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for South African Sweet over £15 went to Nederburg, Winemaster's Reserve Noble Late Harvest, Western Cape 2013 (11.1%)
- Delheim, Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest, Stellenbosch 2013
- Fairview, La Beryl Blanc, Paarl 2013
- Nederburg, Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel, Paarl 2009
- Nederburg, Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel, Paarl 2010
Nederburg took the lead in the production of late-harvest wines in South Africa, with a wine called Edelkeur, in 1969. Unfortunately rules at the time prohibited the sale of natural wines which had a sugar content higher than 30g/l, so there was no market for it. A solution was found by creating a special auction for wine merchants where they could bid for the wine and the Nederburg Wine Auction was born. It still takes place today and remains the only way of buying Edelkeur, along with other iconic South African wines. Once the rules were loosened further, Nederburg created a similar wine which made the style available to all – our Trophy-winner.
Romanian-born Razvan Macici has been cellarmaster at Nederberg since 2001. This wine (no stranger to the DWWA Trophy podium) is a blend of Chenin Blanc (71%) and Muscat de Frontignan (29%) from vineyards in Paarl and Durbanville. ‘Making noble late-harvest wines in South Africa can be challenging because the climate is not usually conducive to the formation of botrytis cinerea,’ he explains. ‘We had to search hard to find vineyards in valley settings shrouded in early morning mists. Also, having to go through the vineyards several times to pick individual berries at optimal ripeness requires meticulous patience and great skill. It’a a labour of love!’
Written by Decanter