On the 30th of June 2010, Vrede en Lust’s flagship Bordeaux style red blend, the Boet Erasmus 2007, was awarded the Best South African Red Wine Trophy at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London. The IWC is one of the leading wine competitions held internationally, attracting more than 10,000 wines from all over the world.
We were informed earlier in June that the Boet Erasmus had won one of only 10 gold medals awarded to the South African wines entered. Wines has to score 95 to 100 points on a 100 point scale in order to be awarded an IWC Gold Medal.
We were delighted with that news, as the Boet ’07 is the first of Susan’s more serious red wines, produced during her first full harvest at Vrede en Lust. It is fitting that the maiden vintage of the Boet Erasmus was made in the year that Susan was recognised as South African Woman Winemaker of 2007.
We saw early signs of promise when the Boet Erasmus 2007 was voted one of the Top-10 Reds on Show at WineX Cape Town last September. The news that we did well enough to win the Best South African Red Wine Trophy, is definitely the cherry on top!
Susan describes the wine as “dominant Cabernet Sauvignon flavours and berry aromas, followed by pencil shavings and cedar on the nose. Layers of flavours with clean lines. A wonderful balance between the elegance of the wine and the ripeness of the fruit.”
The IWC Judges commented “Full on, up front style yet packs a punch with vibrant freshness. Rich, blackberry, mint and dark chocolate flavours, tannins, softening slowly. Needs time but powerful, complex with bags of style. Intense and gloriously lengthy finish.”
According to Susan’s notes, the grapes were picked at optimal ripeness and fermented in stainless steel tanks, with a portion completing malolactic fermentation in 225L oak barrels. The wine was then matured in French oak (35% new) for 14-16 months. The blend is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot.
Boet Erasmus was Etienne and my maternal grandfather. He played a major role in our lives and also introduced us to fine wines. He served on the executives of both the South African and International Rugby Boards. He put a great deal into the development of the game in the Eastern Cape, where he served as city councilor for more than 40 years.
The Boet Erasmus Stadium in Port Elizabeth was named in his honour. It served as one of South Africa’s top international rugby venues for more than 50 years and was home to many legendary test matched over the year. The last rugby match was played at the Boet Erasmus stadium on the 3rd of July.
The photograph left shows him as mayor of Port Elizabeth in the early 50’s.
Boet Erasmus was born in a prison in 1901, during the Anglo-Boer War, as his father refused to take up arms for the English forces. His grandmother fetched him, and raised him. He passed away in 1986.
Our father died in 1973, so our grandfather played a key role as father figure while growing up in Port Elizabeth. He was a great human being who put a great deal back into the community and inspired all who met him.
I am sure he would have loved the wine we have named in his honour! We hope that it will become in time as big a legend, as the Boet Erasmus stadium became in rugby circles! I will add more about his life to the website soon.
Two other South African wines were also awarded trophies at the IWC: OakValley Chardonnay 2009 and Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Noble Late Harvest2009.