High marks for Optima from Wine Spectator

rupert-logoFollowing in the footsteps of the Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 which scored an impressive 92 points earlier this year by Wine Spectator, the Anthonij Rupert Optima 2009 was recently awarded 90 points, from the same publication. Wine Spectator is regarded as one of the industry’s most influential international publications.

This latest recognition couldn’t have come at a better time as it precedes an article on South African wines in the July issue of Wine Spectator. Editor and publisher Marvin Shanken starts the journey off with his introduction to South Africa by means of an informal invitation by Johann Rupert as far back as 2006, which was revisited in 2009, with Marvin finally visiting South Africa in 2010. His visit resulted in an in-depth article on South Africa and its wines, written by senior editor James Molesworth. The article features some of South Africa’s well known wine farms, including Anthonij Rupert Wines situated in the heart of the Franschhoek Wine Valley.

The Optima and Cabernet Sauvignon are not the first wines within the Anthonij Rupert Wines portfolio to be acknowledged by Wine Spectator. Other wines include:

Wine Score
Anthonij Rupert 2007 95
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Franc 2008 91
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Franc 2006 93
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Franc 2005 91
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 92
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 93
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 92
Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 92
Anthonij Rupert Syrah 2007 93
Anthonij Rupert Syrah 2006 92
Anthonij Rupert Syrah 2005 91
Anthonij Rupert Merlot 2007 91
Anthonij Rupert Merlot 2006 91
Anthonij Rupert Merlot 2005 91

optimaAfter a careful process of identifying the top terroir for each cultivar, sites were identified, assessed and then selected for the Anthonij Rupert Optima, with the grapes tested and tasted for ripeness by the winemakers on a daily basis. Vineyards were selected from different sites in the Western Cape and each varietal paired to a selected soil, climate and slope. In 2009 the grapes were handpicked in the early morning at 24.9°Balling, placed in lug boxes and transported in refrigerated trucks to arrive at the cellar. The grapes are hand selected and sorted on a double sorting table. After the cold-soak, fermentation started and lasted for approximately 20 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in 225 litre new French oak barrels, and the wines were made and aged separately for 18months in 225 litre French oak barrels. The wines were then blended and aged for a further six months in barrel and bottle matured for 24 months before release.

Winemaker Dawie Botha feels that the nose abounds with blackcurrant, cassis, and ripe plum as well as rich fruitcake with a hint of tobacco leaf. It’s soft-textured and invitingly seductive, and the same beautiful black and red fruit make the transition from nose to palate. These can be found in abundance with liquorice and coca adding a dark, inviting depth and contrast to the ripe sweetness of the fruit. The wine is velvety and soft textured but with backbone and structure.

Available directly from the cellar at R125 per bottle the Anthonij Rupert Optima 2009 is the perfect wine to sip and savour its own, or enjoy with Porcini Mushroom Risotto, Slow Braised Venison Pie or Tomato, Black Olive and Seafood Stew.

For more information visit www.rupertwines.com.

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