Like most things precious, South Africa’s most expensive dessert wine wasn’t made in a day. Back in 1974, two winemakers from Breedekloof entered into a friendly wager. One claimed it was impossible to mature a Muscat d’Alexandrie for any length of time. The other winemaker believed otherwise. His name was Philippus Petrus Deetlefs. To prove his theory, he filled a third of a tank with Hanepoot lees, and the remaining two thirds with Hanepoot wine, and in closing the tank, he began a new chapter in the Deetlefs story. Fifteen years later, in 1989, the tank was opened. Inside was a unique and sublimely flavoured wine.
Today, this Muscat d’Alexandrie is deemed one of the world’s rarest wines, as the small volume of this very special batch is decreasing. In honour of Philippus Deetlefs’ legacy, only one small batch of Muscat d’Alexandrie will be made every twenty five years.
It is this passion for innovation that has defined the Deetlefs Family wine estate throughout its almost 200-year history. And although forty years may seem like a long time to make a wine, our Muscat d’Alexandrie 1974 is proof that certain things are well worth the wait.
The exclusivity vests in Deetlefs, should you be interested please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently asked Questions
Awards & Accolades
96 Points – Tim Atkin 2018
“A record for a 375ml bottle of South African Wine” Finance Week, March 2003
“Highly individual style; for more specialised palates” Dave Hughes
“Superb old Muscat and a rarity” John Platter
2003 Muscat du Monde Gold, France
2002 Michelangelo Gold, SA
Unique and exquisitely flavoured, this is a wine that can only be described as a “sweet stunner”.
Complex honeyed nose of marmalade and spice, with fresh lime, apricot and peach aromas. In addition, ripe aromas of dried fruit, nuts, and toast. Rich and opulent. The Americans would describe this wine as a “blockbuster”.
Thick on the palate, with flavours of raisins, minerals spice and, again, toast. However, the impression of a good acid backbone and high alcohol provide a fresh, lively palate feel. Warm and mouth filling, even more layers of flavour – caramel and citrus to be exact – develop after the wine has been swallowed.
Magnificent lingering fruitiness on the mid-palate. Concentrated, dense and delicious, and, most surprisingly: elegant beyond expectation.
Any rich, spicy pudding and it can be very sweet too. South African (or English) oven-baked desserts will be perfect: the whole range from Christmas cake to Christmas pudding to mince pies, including cakes and tarts, with cream or custard or sweet fruit sauces. Excellent, also, with sweet fruit desserts like exotic canned fruits, or glace fruits (especially glace green figs, or canned green figs in syrup – often served with coffee in South Africa. One of the most attractive things about this wine is that it is indeed so South African.
Brilliant with apricot or peach tartlets, with sweet dessert soufflés, chocolate mousse and other chocolate desserts. Also serve with chocolate or pecan ice cream, and with ice cream that is served with a layer of berries from a Rumtopf. In fact, this wine will work well with all ice cream which is usually impossible to match with wine.
Also serve with all ginger-flavoured sweet dishes. It’s made to compliment ginger flavours.
This Hanepoot would also be delightful with all citrus-flavoured sweet dishes. Just imagine a very rich, dark orange-flavoured chocolate mousse or a dense orange and almond cake!
With Parmesan, Gruyère, Sbrinz, Pecorino, Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Blue Cheshire, and old, old Cheddars (that have been matured for at least a year). Even a highly-flavoured and salty cheese like a goat’s milk or a sheep’s milk cheese. Also, with this wine on offer, something sweet can be enjoyed alongside the cheese, like whole pieces of watermelon jam or glace green figs.
With rich liver patés.
Not just foie gras. Any rich, highly flavourful liver dish from beef to chicken. But it will have to be creamy and full.
With egg omelets, filled with canned fruit or Berry Kompott.
Often, for a light lunch and after serving a very salty or acidic first course, an egg omelet with a sweet filling which serves both as main course and dessert, is a splendid idea. This wine would be lovely with such a dish, especially if cheese is served afterwards. The wine would then simply continue into the cheese course.
It would also be a delightful drink to serve with coffee, pancakes and cinnamon sugar on a Sunday afternoon.
A last remark:
Duck in orange sauce can be served with this wine, but many people will find it over-kill. It is simply a fact that so few wines are suitable for sumptuous desserts, that it almost seems a pity to try and force them to partner savory dishes. A brilliant wine like this should accompany those old brilliant sweet things which are so hard to match with other wines!