I did not try wines from De Toren while I was in
Stellenbosch, but this producer of Bordeaux blends Fusion V and Z, which boast
sky-high scores from Platter, Wine Enthusiast, and Decanter, is definitely on
my radar now after an impressive showing at Best of the Braai in Toronto: their
offerings showed thick, brambly blackberry flavors, dusty cassis and incredible
depth. I was thrilled when Cape Classics sent me a bottle of Fusion V 2007
shortly afterward – and I recently found a good chance to open it.
The occasion was a blind tasting dinner with some of my new
coworkers, hosted by a certain local wine VIP. Everyone brings a bagged bottle
and they are decanted and then tasted one by one, over much discussion and a
tasty assortment of charcuterie. It was suggested that I bring “something that
would show well” as well as “something South African” – so I bagged up my
Fusion V and took it out for the night.
I’m proud to say that it definitely showed well next to the
other outstanding bottles, which included a Brunello di Montalcino, a Toro, a
Rioja, and a Barolo. Our host, a sommelier, identified it immediately as a
“Stellenbosch Bordeaux blend of the John X Merriman-esque* style.” Turns out he
actually is a fan of South African wine and has an extensive collection
cellar. The tasting notes centered around Bordeaux flavor profiles, lots of tar
and minerality, licorice, and a distinct earthiness. I did agree with a coworker that it
could have been served a tad cooler (this was before I got my fancy wine
fridge, where I now keep all my bottles). Amazingly, Fusion V wasn’t the only
South African poured that night – someone else brought a 2004 Vilafonte series
m – but it was the favorite of the two and definitely showing well despite its
It's 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cab Franc, 15% Malbec, 10% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, and it is South Africa's first five-varietal Bordeaux blend. If you can get your hands on it, it's a true showstopper that every doubter of South African excellence should try.
*By the way, if you’re not familiar with John
X Merriman, that needs to change. We just got the 2006 in at the store where I
work so I’ll have a review up shortly!
De Toren Fusion V 2007
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Importer: Cape Classics