By 2016, the famous Michel Rolland had already been working with Vergelegen Estate on a consulting basis for three years. But as anyone who knows Andre van Rensburg can confirm, Michel was not there to teach Andre how to make wine. He would have had better luck teaching granny how to suck eggs! No indeed, Michel’s influence was felt the most in the cellar when it came to barrel selection and blending as well as, surprisingly to many, Michel’s viticultural guidance in the vineyards…. and for the sceptics, NO, that did not mean just picking dates.
The two originally spent time together at Harlan Estate where Michel Rolland also consulted, where after Andre Van Rensburg invited Michel to South Africa where Michel ended up playing an important role in blending the Vergelegen G.V.B white blend 2013, officially marking the start of his consultancy from the 2014 vintage onwards.
Vergelegen G.V.B. White Blend 2016, Stellenosch, 14 Abv.
This really is a sensational expression from Andre and the team at Vergelegen. A blend of 20% Sauvignon and 80% Semillon, this wine screams premium white Bordeaux from the minute you smell the alluring aromatics. All the classical white Bordeaux hallmark notes are there including a crunchy white citrus, grapefruit zest, pineapple pastille fruits, lime peel, dried coconut and reductive hints of black currant and vinyl. The palate is broad and powerful with a leading edge of sweet and sour grapefruit acidity, tangerine juice, green mango flesh and white citrus fruit intensity. Slightly pithy with hints of dried grass, this wine is a never ending profusion of fruit concentration, minerality and dried herb complexity all knitted together in a very tight, intense, classical package. This wine would go down an absolute treat blind with the Bordelaise producers in the Graves or Pessac-Leognan. With pyrazines well and truly conquered in this wine, this expression is lined up for a long and successful ageing period. Drink from release and for another 12 to 15+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 95+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)