It’s winter now in South Africa, and the vineyards of Cederberg Private Cellar may soon look like this. Cederberg has some of the most exotically situated vineyards on earth. Located in the remote Cederberg Wilderness Area, Cederberg has some of the highest altitude (1036 meters) vineyards of South Africa and produces some outstanding wines under the direction of winemaker David Wieuwoudt. When traveling in the Cape Lands for our report on The Wines of South Africa, we tasted the wines of Cederberg with Pieter du Toit in Stellenbosch. We especially liked the Chenin Blanc, the sparkling Blanc de Blancs, and the Sauvignon Blanc; this latter wine is, however, made from Elim fruit. Our Tasting Notes on the Cederberg wines follow:
Cederberg 2006 Brut Blanc de Blancs Cederberg 90+ This sparkler spends an impressive 48 months on the lees. It reveals a brioche nose and a refined palate of toast, nuts and melon with a note of flint. Finishes long and ripe. Absolutely delicious!
Cederberg Private Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Cederberg ($23) 91 The Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc is nicely fruited and beautifully balanced with a creamy, full mouth feel. Aromas and flavors tend towards passion fruit with lime zest. Cederberg Private Cellars 2011 Bukettraube Cederberg ($20) 88+ Cederberg is just one of four South African wineries producing Bukettraube, a variety of German origin that is a cross between Sylvaner and Frankenthaler. The wine is aromatic with scents of flowers, green apples and citrus. It’s a well-balanced wine with brisk acidity offsetting the residual sugar. A perfect accompaniment to curries. Cederberg Private Cellars 2011 Chenin Blanc Cederberg ($20) 90 This lovely Chenin Blanc has a nose of stone fruit and minerals followed on the palate by touches of mango, peach and minerals. It is easy drinking and pleasurable with good concentration of fruit and a nice long finish. Cederberg Private Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Cederberg ($19) 89 This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is a fruit forward offering with aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, chocolate and toasted oak. Aged in 80% new oak, it has a soft texture, medium weight, and it light on the palate with firm tannic grip on the finish..Cederberg Private Cellars 2009 Merlot Shiraz Cederberg ($20) 91 The Cederberg Merlot-Shiraz blend offers fresh blackberry and cedar aromas with a touch of earth. A blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Shiraz, it spends 13 months in oak, 75% new, and has delicate red fruit flavors on the palate with smooth and silky mouth feel and a persistent finish. Excellent. Cederberg Private Cellars 2008 Shiraz Cederberg ($30) 90 Rich red plum fruit graces the nose and palate of this delicious, superbly balanced Syrah. There’s remarkable purity of fruit on the palate along with notes of earth and tobacco. Delicious and very fairly priced.
Cederberg wines are imported to the US by Worthwhile Wine Company, Atlanta, GA & World Premiere Wines, Mooresville, NC