Gurus and high watermarks, OK Waterfords: November Wines of the Month

November’s Wines of the Month are the latest releases of two consistently high performers.

Wine & Soul Guru, one of the Douro’s top whites, is made by husband and wife team Jorge Serodio Borges and Sandra Tavares da Silva.  First made in 2004, it just gets better and better every year – though never an ugly duckling, it’s becoming a very fine swan indeed!  Find out why here in my report of a visit with Jorge last year.  

As for my red, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends thrive in the Cape’s Stellenbosch region, I have to admit that Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon had not really come to my attention until this year.  But then I tasted the 2006 Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon in July and, last week, the 2001 and 2007.  It’s a finely crafted wine and, elegance intact, seems to have sailed past the era of “exuberance and ripeness”  to which Adi Badenhorst referred at the “South Africa – A Decade On” seminar (see my report here).  The benefits of an older generation perhaps?  (Winemaker Kevin Arnold has been making wine since the 1970s).

Wine & Soul Guru 2009 (Douro) – a fresh, saline nose invites.  In the mouth, it shows well defined stone fruits (not an ounce overweight/overripe) with subtly textured and tangy lees deliciously animated by a thread of minerality.  Terrific balance, fruit and thrust.  For existing Guru converts, Jorge tells me that 2005 and 2006 are in great form. £268.89/case of 12 in bond at Nickolls and Perks; contact UK importer Corney & Barrow for other stockists.

Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Stellenbosch) – a concentrated core of cassis fleshed out with juicy damson brings layer and length, the whole supported by super fine tannins.  This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from iron rich Table Mountain sandstone over a medium dense clay subsoil is just lovely and keenly priced for this much class in a glass at £16.25 (£14.75 for the 2006 vintage) at Berry Bros & Rudd.  Here are my notes on the 2006 and 2001 to give you a sense of this wine’s pedigree: 

Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Stellenbosch) – a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec with well defined bright cassis, cedar, minerals and earth supported by firm, sinewy tannins.  Very good.

Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (Stellenbosch) –  this blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc put me in mind of Margaret River with its dried herbs and balsamic notes on nose and palate.  In the mouth, it’s long and fine with lifted and persistent cassis, blueberry and cedar. Very good.

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