Happening Now Tasting 17: KWV Roodeberg 1980, Coastal Region RSA

Late late, probably too late, and even more boring Saturday afternoon! What else could be better than some historicism’istic wine adventure?! For instance a vinophile travel back in time to the miserable bad old days of South Africa’s Apartheid regime!?!! More than 30 years ago the Ko-Operatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging (KWV) van Zuid-Afrika Beperkt in Paarl was one a few exporting and internationally competitive wine producers of South Africa. In these days the South African wine revolution - so to speak, and other certainly far more important paradigm changes, were still far off their actual infancy. Apparently then the brand Roodeberg stood for quality, longevity and desirability. Nowadays, perhaps not so much anymore, I assume ...

Anyway, a few months back I bought today's red blend from extraordinary good storage. I am still not sure about the exact blend. Other old vintages, for example the 1977 and 1981, were apparently produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah

Anyway - again, as you already might have realized I do not have a lot of knowledge to drop. Just one pretty mental info about various asking prices for this wine on a Gauteng, the central province of South Africa, based Ebay-like platform. Most prices moved around 10000 to 15000 RSA Rand. This would mean an approx. enormous amount of money for a bottle of wine. Such a bottle!!! I better spare my comment about this. Well, anyway - for the third and last time – I paid faaar less. Let’s check it out …

6:51 pm (popped and poured)

Colour: old style Cab Blend transparency, core looks pretty vital and crimson red, corona spaciously discoloured – more white than brick-red

Nose: black pepper, red paprika, some mostly dried tomato, a bit too sweet’ish cherry, only a few indications of mild herbaceousness; absolutely alive! Big surprise! Not too special, tough …

Taste: structurally very silky and melted off – however not mundane at all, overall rather lean style; mild flavours of black pepper, red and almost a bit spicy red paprika, a hint of nougat, some beetroot juice and mostly a bit diffuse appearing semi-dark red fruit flavours, perhaps a bit sweet ones; finish seems to be more than okay, character not too thrilling, actual shape mind-blowingly surprising - for such an old “bastard”! Cab and Syrah seem imaginary'ly evident

7:55 pm

Nose: a bit more herbaceous, some developing aromas of lovage, too; fruit appears a bit more brown and pulpy at the moment, stronger tendencies towards coffee powder and dusty earth; well, let’s wait another hour … probably on the brink to downfall

Taste: so far no evidence for tongue’al downfall; no substantial change, perhaps evolving flavours which remind me of cola, beef jerky and a certain amount of hidden smokiness!?

9:04 pm

Nose: getting more herbaceous and blurry indeed, not really appealing anymore, loosing sap, too – downfall is happening

Taste: still a bit lagging behind the nose, luckily; however not a big pleasure anymore

8:27 am (breakfast sip for a change)

That was to be expected. It’s gone! Only pure herbaceous and acidic austerity left in my glass.

Does not really matter to me all too much! What matters was its shape in the first hours. Then, it showed not so many indications of its 30-something years in bottle. Its quality was downright solid. It showed a lean, not really inspirational or cunning, however surely not bovine structure. Perhaps overall a little bit too sweet for my palate. In the pre-revolution days back then this might have been a really good red blend. For me by a margin a still decent **** wine with surprising stability. Not sure about the earlier mentioned asking price though ;-)

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