Nederburg's 2011Winemaster's Reserve Noble Late Harvest has won an International Wine Challenge trophy in London.
ISSUED BY DKC (DE KOCK COMMUNICATIONS)
FOR NEDERBURG WINES
The 2011 Nederburg Noble Late Harvest is made from grapes attacked by noble rot (botrytis cinerea), an ugly-looking fungus that occurs under very specific climatic conditions. It can appear in vineyards where early morning mists create an environment of humidity, followed by dry, warm afternoons.
Grapes affected by the noble rot fungus become dehydrated, losing more than half their moisture content, resulting in an intense concentration of flavours. The berries first turn golden and then pink or purple, eventually browning and shrivelling. The rot consumes some of the sugar and the acid present in the grapes but their nectar-like intensity and zesty acidity remain.
This is not the first time a Nederburg noble late harvest wine has been acclaimed. The richly aromatic wine, with delicious tastes of honey, apricots and ginger, is regularly lauded on international and local forums.
The 2012 vintage was also South Africa's only trophy winner at the International Sweet Challenge in Australia and a gold medallist at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).
Nederburg pioneered noble late harvest wines in South Africa with the 1969 Edelkeur, sold on the Nederburg Auction in 1975. Prized buy connoisseurs, Edelkeur is still available exclusively via this channel.
The more accessible Winemaster's Reserve wine, however, is available from specialty wine shops, selected grocers and from the Nederburg farm. It retails for around just R82 a 375ml bottle.
Cellar master Razvan Macici, who has earned many leading awards for his dessert and other wines, including the title of Diners Club Winemaker of the Year, suggests serving it with fruit-based desserts, liver patés and blue cheeses. "It's terrific on its own and even makes a delicious substitute for dessert."