Forget wine wars. It is time for a paddle battle!

Anel Grobler of Spit or Swallow wasn't doing any spitting

Cape Town’s weather is so last season.

The only sign signalling the advent of spring is that invites to the annual Nederburg Auction have been issued.  This annual wine calendar highlight, set for 28 and 29 September this year, will again see some of South Africa’s top wines presented to the country’s most discerning buyers – and, if this year’s selection is anything to go by, buyers should be prepared for a serious battle of the bidding paddles.

If you are intending on doing some bidding on the day, be prepared to compete with this blonde ambition as Anthony Barne opens bidding for the following wines…

De Grendel Merlot 2005: Black fruit, fine tannins and gripping mouthfeel. This wine shows that quality Merlot in South Africa is possible if the grape is treated with respect.

Nederburg Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: Sage, pencil shavings and tea leaf aromas make for a stunning, classic example of the King of the wine world.

Hartenberg The Stork Shiraz 2006: Sweet pepper spice and a smack of savoury tannins. Mature and enjoy.

Bosman Family Vineyards Adama Red 2007: Delicate nose shows red and black fruit – cherries galore – savoury notes and fully integrated palate.

Beyerskloof Beyerskloof 2001: The wine that’s so good they named it twice. Cabernet Sauvignon in the lead here with 28% Merlot. My notes read “sexy, bright red fruit, fine tannins”.

J.C Le Roux Scintilla 2001: Intense toasty and raw honey notes on the nose, lingering creamy aftertaste. Complex and delicious.

Delaire Sauvignon Blanc 2009: Delicate nose shows whiffs of gooseberries. Delicious, savoury finish.

Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2009: A serious example of decent Chardonnay. Rich, opulent with vanilla and toffee notes. Lingering finish.

Stellenrust 45 Chenin Blanc 2009: I am such a fan of this wine. Melon and honey on the nose precedes a sexy and slightly sweet palate.

Nederburg Private Bin S316 Weisser Riesling NLH 2001: You don’t leave the Auction without having secured one of Nederburg’s stickies. This one’s layered nose shows caramel, apricot, vanilla and spice.

At the pre-Auction tasting, attendees were also treated to a tasting of two aging beauties, Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 1977 and KWV Reserve Port 1929. These will be auctioned under the Private Collection category, at a reserve price of R2 400 and R3 000 respectively – don’t worry, on the day you drink these all buying remorse will dissipate.

For reminiscent purposes the Chateau Libertas 1968 as well as Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1975 were presented to the crowd; it has been noted many times, but there was a time when winemakers were really in the winemaking business for more than just the money…

Hopes are that this year’s Nederburg Auction wines will evoke similar thoughts in years to come.

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