Nederburg’s prestige Heritage Heroes collection has become more focused, says Nederburg cellar-master, Samuel Viljoen. “In every way, from the liquid to the livery, you’ll find a polished precision.”
The wines are fresher, livelier, and more poised.
“They reflect the benefits of precision farming. As we know more, we can measure more, and manage more, with better results. We’ve become more adept at letting the terroir and fruit shine.”
There are now three Heritage Heroes wines in the trimmed ensemble, down from five. They are The Brew Master, a Bordeaux-style red blend; The Motorcycle Marvel, a Rhône-style red blend; and The Anchor Man, an old-vine wood-fermented Chenin Blanc aged in clay, stainless steel, and a variety of barrels.
“Streamlining helps us to concentrate on really excelling where we’ve proved we can, rather than trying to do everything. Our aim is to become recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent cellar specialising in Cabernet and Cabernet-based red blends but obviously with a focus too on whites of excellence.”
The new labels feature a finer-grained and more detailed graphic flourish. “We’ve opted for striking packaging to convey sophistication and heritage in a way that honours the heroes who helped shape who we are today.
While The Brew Master deftly showcases Nederburg’s hero grape, Cabernet Sauvignon, in this very distinguished, classically styled blend, The Motorcycle Marvel, with Shiraz and Carignan in the lead, is less overtly wooded than its predecessors for added freshness, balance and refinement. The barrel-fermented Anchor Man is now made entirely from old Swartland and Paarl vines close to 40 years’ old and reflects a creamy and layered complexity.
Viljoen makes the point that the revised Heritage Heroes trio is emblematic of Nederburg’s new momentum. “We’re striving for elegance, restraint and longevity in our wines, driven by the principles of sustainability, excellence, innovation and creativity within the team.
“Central to our championing of sustainability is the protection of our natural assets. We are farming more regeneratively, starting with assiduous attention to soil health. We use water more sparingly thanks to more detailed weather information and real-time vine and soil moisture measurements. We have also improved access to heat- and drought-resistant grape varieties and to a wider clonal range. Over the years, vineyards have become more optimally sited. Where we can, we also nurture old vineyards rather than opt for the more conventional replacement cycle of every 20 years or so.
The current vintages on offer are The Anchor Man 2020 and the 2018 vintage of The Motorcycle Marvel and The Brew Master.