Nederburg’s first new-look and new-styled top-tier wine to reach the market has earned a five-star rating in the 2021 edition of the Platter’s South African Wine Guide. The ultra-premium wine, Private Bin Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon, is from the celebrated 2017 vintage. It will be released later this month (November).

Says winery MD Nïel Groenewald: “The Platter’s panel’s affirmation of our revised styling is very welcome news. Cabernet Sauvignon is an especially important grape for us. We have a long-standing and award-winning history with the variety. It is a major focus for our cellar.

“With this, our most recent iteration of the wine, it was essential that we maintain a measure of continuity - call it our recognisable signature. At the same time, though, we wanted to give expression to some of our new thinking about wine, as well as to the benefits of our stepped-up investment in precision farming and enhanced cellar technology.

“While you can pick up a stylistic link to earlier vintages, I think wine lovers will discover a greater level of fruit purity and concentration in the 2017 wine, but within a lither, more supple frame. Certainly, the hallmark balance between fruit, acidity, tannins, palate weight and length are there but delivered with greater refinement.”

He said that a two-year long and very detailed programme of winery work, coupled with extensive international benchmarking, had allowed the viticultural and cellar teams to enhance wine styling across the range, from the Private Bin wines at the very apex, all the way to the foundational entry-level wines.

Explains Nederburg red-wine maker, Samuel Viljoen: “We have been extremely considered in the way we have approached the restyling throughout the range. Private Bin Two Centuries has been no exception. In fact, here we have had to be especially mindful of the need to uphold the reputation that has evolved for the collection’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines. You may remember that the 2014 vintage was chosen as the Platter’s Red Wine of the Year in 2018. Nederburg also took the title of Platter’s Winery of the Year in 2017, in part for Cabernet excellence. Meanwhile, the 2013 vintage won the 2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) Warren Winiarski Trophy for the top Cabernet Sauvignon of the entire show. There have also been many other earlier accolades.”

As with previous vintages, the hand-harvested fruit for the 2017 vintage came from a combination of dryland Groenekloof vines in Stellenbosch, established in Tukulu soils, and from a block near Paarl, grown in decomposed granite. Each block was individually vinified. “Consistently, over the years, the Stellenbosch block has delivered rich, vibrant red and black fruit characters, while the Paarl block has imparted structure, weight and firm but flexible tannins. We are so meticulous in our picking that we even select individual berries from these vines!”

The wine was aged in new French oak for 31 months before the final assemblage.

“The abundant aromas, lively fruit and silky texture at first encounter belie the classic profile and complexity of this wine. From the second sip, though, the layers and mystery unfurl with a finely poised and lingering palate of black plum and cassis berry notes, a whisper of spice and tobacco leaf,” adds Viljoen.

The strictly limited-edition wine will be available on Vinoteque soon.

With Nederburg’s simplified brand architecture, explained Groenewald, Nederburg’s top two offerings, Two Centuries and Private Bin have been consolidated into a single tier.