Caroline’s Red Wine Review 2022, a world-class showcase of the crème-de-la-crème of Cape red wine presented by Cape Town’s legendary Caroline Rillema, took place at The Lookout Venue adjacent to the V&A Waterfront, featuring breathtaking views of the surrounding sea, Robben Island and Table Mountain.
Only the top 90 accolade achieving winemakers were invited to participate in Caroline’s Red Wine Review held annually for almost three decades, with the exception of the past two years due to the Covid pandemic. Each participating winemaker was given the opportunity to present just one wine – their very best red – on the night.
The winemaker selection criteria included 5 stars in Platter’s South African Wine Guide, trophy and platinum awards at top tier competitions, 96+ scores awarded by Tim Atkin, UK Master of Wine, as well as prestigious accolades across various other platforms.
Caroline’s team also handpick wines they consider world-class that may not have entered any competition or been submitted for ratings by well-known wine commentators. Each cultivar or varietal were grouped together which gave the opportunity to taste and compare these fine red wines next to each other.
Herwith some of the wines tasted:
Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2018
The Bowwood has rich purple and red hues, an intense blackberry and cherry bouquet interlaced with sweet cloves and subtle vanilla oak. The wine is sensuous, with bold fruit and subtle spice aromatics persisting on the palate, with undertones of roasted almond and cigar. Tannins are finely textured, the palate broad and rich complemented by soft acidity.
Bellevue The Reserve Collection Pinotage 2017
This is a rich concentrated wine with perfumed fragrances of raspberry, maraschino cherry, ripe plum and cedar wood. The nose and palate is supported by dense, fine-grained tannins that ends in a long, clean, lingering mouthfeel.
Francois van Niekerk Pinotage 2020
Dense purple hues, with evocative aromas of black cherries, ripe plums, nectarines, boysenberry, wild bramble and exotic oak spice. The juicy and sweet-fruited palate entry, combined with crunchy tannins, lures one into a sense of overtness, yet the wine is sublimely elegant and poised. The complex layers of fruit is in perfect harmony with the oak, all bound together by a lively seam of acidity. The finish is pleasantly dry and savoury, with lingering notes of Christmas cake and vanilla pod.
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2019
Deep dark middle with a ruby red rim. Bouquet of rich blackcurrant and black cherry fruit combined with cedary oak aromas. A big structured pinotage with intense dark fruit flavours. A rich fruit core, with layers and layers of complex flavours. It fills the mouth, with a long, smooth finish.
SHIRAZ / SYRAH
Super Single Vineyards Mount Sutherland Syrah 2018
Continental style Syrah. Aromas such as rose petals, black cherries, cloves & freshly milled white pepper. Succulence & richness on the palate & ends in a long & ripe finish.
Reyneke Biodynamic Reserve Red Syrah 2018
A perfumed nose with upfront white pepper, spice and red cherry aromatics. Followed by undertones of rosemary and lavender. The palate is fresh and vibrant with juicy tannins and a well balanced structure. Layers of fruit, spice and dry herbs give an elegant and well-re?ned wine with a lasting ?nish.
Porseleinberg Syrah 2020
It has an expressive bouquet with notes of blackberry, black olive tapenade, black pepper, and a hint of raspberry. It is medium-bodied with silky tannins, lingering and complex finish.
Remhoogte Reserve Syrah 2018
The wine has a sweet fruited entry with broad, plush tannins .The fresh acidity and a savoury liquorish spice give it a deliciously, lingering finish.
Boschkloof Epilogue Syrah 2020
Enchanting and inviting floral aromas. The palate shows fleshy, deep fruit with a citrus edge and long, fine-grained tannins. Elegant with layers of complexity.
Damascene Swartland Syrah 2020
A beautiful bouquet of perfume and spice. The palate is nuanced and persistent. Expressive, generous, savoury hits of black olive tapenade spread across the supple, fruity palate. Excellent concentration of flavour and ripe tannins lead to a subtly smoky finish.
De Trafford Syrah 393 2019
Expect intense blueberry fruit, pepper spice and mineral complexity. The palate is loaded with flavour. Powerful, as always from this vineyard, along with surprising refinement. Long, complex finish.
Oak Valley Groenlandberg Pinot Noir 2020
The nose reveals some dried rose petal, beetroot, red cherry and wet soil. The palate is fresh and youthful, with cranberry and pomegranate, but shows just enough texture to achieve a fine balance.
Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir 2017
The nose has delicate earthy aromas combined with red and dark berry flavours. On the palate these characteristics follow through combining with interesting savoury notes and just a touch of oak on the finish.
Radford Dale Freedom Organic Pinot Noir 2021
Fresh and perfumed berry fruits mingle with earthy tones in a complex and compelling nose that urges deeper reflection. The palate shows restraint through the satin texture and perfumed, light berry tones.
Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir 2021
This wine reveals notes of red cherries, cranberries and raspberries combined with hints of nutmeg and clove spices. Graceful and well balanced.
Richard Kershaw Clonal Selection Elgin Pinot Noir 2019
Captivating floral attributes underscored by purity, focus and freshness framed by fine powder tannins yet cushioned by a succulent texture and flavours of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry.
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2020
Fragrant rose petals and a twist of orange zest bring a lovely contrast to the spicy nutmeg and its dark graphite-like, serious core. Huge respect to the gentle hand that has allowed the fruit to maintain its delicacy of colour with a perfectly fine-tuned level of extraction allowing the vintage to show itself in such a beautifully balanced way.
Iona Kroon Pinot Noir 2018
The wine offers an array of seductive black fruits that include berries, cherries and ripe summer plums. The palate is gentle yet generous with pure succulent fruit, bright acidity, charming velvety fine grained tannins resulting in a wine that is nuanced, textured and perfectly balanced with a long savoury finish.
Creation The Art of Pinot Noir 2020
Shiny, deep pomegranate-seed red with a robust bouquet of rose petal, dark cherry, allspice and anise. Complex and utterly enchanting on the palate opulent layers of cherry and plum mingling with earthy flavours of mushroom and an elegant sprinkling of spice.
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2020
Immediately expressive succulent plum, clove and nutmeg. Well defined and concentrated black olive tapenade and cranberry tart flavours, all elegantly packaged around an ever-present kelp-like tannin. Velvety smooth finish.
Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2018
This is an elegant and fragrant wine with red berry fruit, blueberry, clove spice, pomegranate and redcurrant flavours. It has subtle oak and fine tannins that add to the complexity of the wine.
Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Blackberry fruit aromas with tea-leaf and cedar notes. The palate is rich and polished with dark fruit and mocha flavours and a finely balanced acidity. Long finish with the fine tannins.
Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Complex and stylish, with aromas of ripe blackcurrant, dark chocolate and pencil shavings. This wine is bone dry, yet exhibits a lovely sweet fruit character on the palate, with a lovely long finish.
Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
The nose shows restraint, with aromas of complex black berry, liquorice and cedary notes. The palate is rounded and fresh followed by fine, dense tannins.
Nederburg Private Bin Two Centuries CS 2017
Elegant, ripe black berried fruits with a touch of tobacco leaf and cigar box from oak maturation. Silky texture and its superb equilibrium of fruit, integrated oak and acidity.
Le Riche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Classic Cabernet fruit aromas of blackcurrant and cassis are complemented by a hint of violet. Lead pencil shavings and cedar aromas add to the overall complexity and sophistication. On entry the palate is rich, velvety and voluptuous yet remarkably fresh showcasing dark fruit, cherry and dark chocolate.
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
An intense bouquet that shows savoury tobacco notes along with liquorice and mint with a deep core of black plum and cassis. The palate shows a density and depth of flavor only found in the best vintages. An opulent entry of the dark fruit seen on the nose gives way to vibrant back palate with a refreshing acidity.
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Intricate aromas of oak spice, blackberry coulis, wet tobacco and chai tea. The palate is luxurious and utterly elegant, with layered flavours of blackcurrants, morello cherries, raspberries and dark coffee beans, all of which are framed against a sturdy, yet delicate finely grained tannins.
Erika O Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
The nose features alluring nuances of concentrated red and black fruit, tilled earth and cedar wood combined with oak spice, while the palate shows intensity and depth underscored by chalky ripe tannins and a savoury finish.
David Finlayson Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
The wine has a fresh, minty herbaceousness backed by mocca vanilla oak. Firm structured tannins and a long finish on the palate show good ageing potential.
David & Nadia Grenache Noir 2021
A perfumed nose of rose florals, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and spice. Juicy with fresh acidity and fine tannins that end in a medium length finish.
Laarman Focal Point Cinsaut 2019
Vibrant with white pepper and blueberries on the nose, pomegranate and soft tannins on the palate.
Jordan Insiders Wine Club Cabernet Franc 2019
A bright, rich ruby colour, with layered plum and cherry flavours. The palate is supple and earthy with nuances of vanilla and a lingering finish.
Uva Mira The Dance Cabernet Franc 2018
A nose of delicious purity with layers of red cherry, fresh tobacco leaf, jasmine and graphite with hints of purple flower perfume temptingly enveloped with lashings of creaminess.
Ladybird Vineyards Claypot Merlot 2017
Amazing aromatics of dark chocolate, blackberry, leather, and toasted oat. A full-bodied wine with a juicy palate, and ripe supple tannins.
Shannon Black Merlot 2017
The wine has a fragrance of ripe red fruits such as plums and dark cherries, with earthy complexity and yet still expressing minerality.
Holden Manz Reserve Merlot 2018
Red cherries on entry with a luscious complex mid-palate and a gentle blueberry finish. Soft round tannins and a lingering finish.
FINE RED BLENDS
Flagstone Velvet 2017
Notes of cinnamon and spice, dancing above decadent concentration of intense dark berries like mulberry and blueberry. Velvety tannin, the flavour burst of red berry and cherry, rewarded with an intriguing, moreish hint of smooth dark chocolate.
Delheim Grand Reserve 2018
Dark ruby red colour with a complex nose of dark fruits dominated by blackberries and blackcurrant followed by notes of tobacco and tomato leaf, fresh lead pencil shavings and cassis. The palate is elegantly poised with dark red fruit and a smooth chalky tannin finish.
De Toren Fusion V 2019
Complex flavours of liquorice, black cherry, cedar and dark berries. Soft as spun silk, with a lingering hint of sweet fruit on the back palate.
Glenelly Lady May 2016
Elegant and complex, the wine develops flavours of cassis, blackcurrant, dark cherry, touch of graphite and delicate spicy plum. Displays an exquisite structure with velvety tannins.
Mitre’s Edge Sholto 2018
Deep rich garnet colour with delicate Christmas cake notes on the nose followed through with soft black fruits and well-balanced tannins on the palate.
Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2018
Aromas of blackberries and blueberries with a note of fresh coriander. Layers of complexity unfolds on the palate with silky tannins. Exceptional balance, beautifully structured with hints of chocolate.
Tokara Director’s Reserve 2019
The nose showcases complex aromas including ripe red and black berry fruit with hints of creamy cassis, cedar wood and toasted oak. The wine enters the palate with incredible purity and focus.
Vergelegen GVB 2016
The nose is complex, showing blackcurrants, red cherries, cedar wood, lead pencil and cigar box aromas. On the palate the wine is concentrated but elegant, with fine-grained tannins.
It was a great evening walking around tasting premium red wines showcased by the winemakers and it was an incredible opportunity chatting and meeting to the people behind the labels.
If you missed out on this event, keep on the lookout for Caroline’s White Wine Review happening later this year!
Categories: Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar