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Creative Block 5 2015

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Alwyn van der Merwe

Director of Investments

South African wine drinkers have been spoiled by an exponential improvement in the quality of local wines on offer – partly because smaller producers have been on the forefront of innovation, both in the vineyards and in the cellar. Although larger producers have responded well to this challenge, in my view they’ve not received the accolades they deserve from wine journalists. I decided to test the veracity of this notion by heading off to Spier for a wine tasting.

The Spier estate offers a wide range of wines that mostly over-deliver relative to the price. In particular, the Creative Block 5 2015 is outstanding – especially considering the price tag. If the contents were in a bottle with a more ‘sexy’ label, this wine could easily have sold for double the price.

Creative Block 5 is a so-called Bordeaux blend – the cellar master has blended five grape varieties, of which cabernet sauvignon is the dominant cultivar. The wine is made in a serious style, as malolactic fermentation and maturation takes place in 100%, 300-litre French oak barrels for 18 months, of which 60% is first fill and the balance second fill. Selective tasting from the barrels determines the composition of the blend.

Despite the fact that the wine has spent almost two years in the bottle, it still presents with a deep red colour and a youthful ruby rim. I found blackberries, cherries, pepper, pencil shavings and hints of vanilla and cedar on the nose.

The palate is also complex, full and balanced, and certainly not overripe or flabby. The blackberry and currant are supported by cedar, dark chocolate and some subtle fennel that flows into a vibrant palate. The dry tannin structure will undoubtedly provide the backbone for further ageing of this wine.

This is one of those wines you won’t be able to resist when you enter your cellar to look for a wine that’s drinkable and yet offers a multi-dimensional drinking experience.

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