Category Archives: Rare wine

The Advantages of Using Bergkelder Vinoteque’s Unique Maturation Service

BenefitsEstablished in 1984, the Vinotèque Wine Bank is part of the historic Bergkelder winery located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. It offers members a private cellar in which to store and mature the wines they purchase from the Vinotèque under optimal conditions.

Members enjoy access to a number of benefits, including a superb range of wines, private members tasting room, annual maturation reports, a gift service and free delivery to your door.

Learn more about what the Bergkelder Vinoteque has to offer….


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Four new gourmet wines celebrate Nederburg’s past

Nederburg has created four new gourmet wines to be sold exclusively through specialist retailers and fine dining establishments.  Known collectively as the Heritage Anthology, they are individually named in honour of a personality who has played a major role in shaping the winery’s reputation.


The 2009 Motorcycle Marvel that honours the legendary winemaker Günter Brözel, who was at Nederburg from 1956 to 1989, is a three-way Rhône-style blend of Grenache, Carignan and Shiraz. The first two come from old bush vines in Paarl, while the Shiraz has been sourced from an award-winning block in Philadelphia. Fermentation took place in open vats with extended skin contact to enrich colour and flavour, says current cellar master Razvan Macici. No new wood was used for maturation. “We used a combination of 300 litre and 500 litre French and Romanian second-, third- and fourth-fill barrels to ensure a delicate oak extraction.”


The wine was aged in barrel for two years. The result, he says, is a “rich and intense explosion of flavour with spicy, peppery berry and sweet fruit characters, ripe and silky tannins and an excellent integration between fruit and wood.”


The 2009 Brew Master is a Bordeaux-style blend that commemorates Johann Graue, who revolutionised winemaking in South Africa when he acquired Nederburg in 1937 with his efforts to isolate top-performing vines for reproduction and his introduction of cold fermentation techniques.

Led by Cabernet Sauvignon and including Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, all individually vinified, the grapes were fermented on the skins in a combination of open fermenters and stainless steel tanks. The wine was aged in new and older 300 litre French barrels for 24 months before bottling.


Macici says it is very classical in style with “savoury, complex aromas and flavours”.

Both reds have been structured to mature for up to 15 years but show excellent integration between fruit and wood so can be enjoyed now.


The 2011 Young Airhawk is a wooded Sauvignon blanc that pays tribute to Johann Graue’s son, Arnold, who, like his father, introduced many technical innovations to Nederburg and enhanced his father’s award-winning reputation. He died at 29 in a light aircraft crash.

The grapes for this wooded Sauvignon blanc were sourced from vineyards near Gansbaai, Darling and Durbanville, each offering different facets of the varietal’s character.  Grapes were destemmed and the juice fermented in a combination of second- and third-fill small oak, using 228 litre and 300 litre barrels.  Fermentation temperatures were monitored in each barrel, with the wine kept on the lees for 10 months, stirred regularly to add creaminess and complexity.


“Layers of green figs, asparagus and minerality on the nose and palate integrate very well with the wood.  It’s fresh, crisp and zesty with a creamy texture and can age for five to seven years,” says Macici.


The 2011 Anchorman Chenin Blanc is named for Nederburg’s founder Philippus Wolvaart, who bought the farm in 1791 and planted Chenin Blanc, amongst other varietals. Macici describes it as a “most interesting and expressive wine that is a blend of very differently vinifed components and that succeeds in combining a bracing freshness with complexity.” Fruit was sourced from low-yielding, dry-farmed old bush vines in Darling, Durbanville and Paarl.


“One portion was fermented in second- and third-fill 300 litre and 500 litre barrels. A second component was fermented in stainless steel tanks, while a third was fermented in very old, large vats and the remainder involved a fermentation technique usually reserved for red wines. Called carbonic maceration, it allows whole bunches, neither crushed nor pressed, to ferment spontaneously, and the wines tend to be light and fruity.”


Macici chose the technique for the freshness it would impart to the wine.


“This Chenin blanc is very reminiscent of ripe fruits, especially apricots and oranges, with floral hints and traces of raisin and spice with a vibrant mineral spine.”


He believes it has the potential to age for up to 10 years.


The wines are expected to retail for around R97 for the whites and R105 for the reds.

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Featured Vinoteque Wine

Alto is the oldest red wine estate in South Africa has produced numerous special  red wines. Like this week’s Vinoteque wine of the week: The Alto Shiraz 2003.

Tasting notes

Smokey, spicy, and berry nose supported by woody undertones.  Palate – A full-bodied wine with delicate spices, subtle presence of oak, vanilla flavours and round, creamy finish.

Read more and order the wine from the Bergkelder Vinoteque

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A special romantic occasion calls for a special vintage wine

Planning a special occasion for Valentine’s Day? Why not make the night even more special with fantastic older vintages wines.

The Bergkelder Vinoteque stock, mature and sell some of South Africa’s best wines and it probably the best time now to order special vintage wines for Valentine’s Day.

One of the recommended older vintage wines,  is the amazing Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 .

Tasting notes

Dark ruby colour with hints of cigar box,  ripe cherries and mint on the nose. On the   Palate – Cherry sweetness comes to the fore but is balanced by tannins, with oak an vanilla on the aftertaste.

Buy this wine on our website

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Featured Vinoteque wine: Van Ryn’s 12-Year-Old Distillers Reserve

Today’s Featured Vinoteque wine is the  Van Ryn’s 12-Year-Old Distillers Reserve

Van Ryn’s 12-Year-Old Distillers Reserve has warm golden hues that announce a generous nose of fruit and vanilla. A soft velvety palate of dried fruit and coffee ends on a lingering note.

This Brandy has won numerous awards, including World Wide Best Brandy – International Spirits Challenge 2009, Gold and Best in Class – International Wine and Spirit Competition 2010, and on the 8th of October this year it was awarded a Double Gold Medal at Veritas.

To view our full selection of Fine Brandies go to or visit

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Vinotèque members at the Nederburg Auction

For the second year running Vinotèque members were afforded an opportunity to bid for the selection of wines on offer at this year’s Nederburg Auction, as part of an exclusive membership advantage.

A simple system created by the Vinotèque gives members access to a line-up of best-of-best, rare South African wines that are normally only available for purchase to the trade at this prestigious event. The 2011 Auction saw several Vinotèque members place successful bids for a number of exclusive wines.

View all the highlights from this year’s event, including interviews with key role-players and behind-the-scenes footage, on the auction’s website:

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Today’s featured Vinoteque Wine: Alto Shiraz 2004

Today’s featured Vinoteque Wine: Alto Shiraz 2004

Tasting Notes

Dark ruby.  Nose – Smokey, spicy, laced with berry and ripe fruit, supported by woody undertones.  Palate – A full-bodied wine with delicate spices, subtle presence of oak, vanilla flavours and round, creamy finish. Read more…

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