The Jaubert Family Muscat d’Alexandrie 1800 is South Africa’s oldest living wine. Seven generations of the Joubert family have cared for the 115L barrel of Muscat for more than 200 years. The richly-sweet, solera-style wine is topped up every 5 years to replace the angels’ share. Sitting quietly in an underground cellar on the family farm, there been periods when the barrel was left completely untouched for decades, which adds to its unique style and incredible stability, according to current custodian Cobus Joubert. Topped up using only the best Muscat sourced from selected vines, the barrel has not been fortified this century. It was Neal Martin’s highest scoring South African wine upon tasting it in Bordeaux 2011.
‘It has an iridescent clear amber hue with green tints on the rim. The nose is simply stellar: candied orange peel, toffee, apricot and almond soar from the glass and fix you to the spot. The palate is perfectly balanced and fresher than some South African wines two centuries younger! It has a Sauternes-like viscosity but is not cloying like a Tokaji Essenzia. There is a touch of sherbet at the tip of the tongue and then it fans out towards a kaleidoscope of spice, clove, candied fruits and a touch of honey. One can discern an oxidative tang towards the finish that has a touch of volatility. Very long and intense and yet somehow refined and elegant, this is an ethereal experience. Drink now-2100+.’ Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 99/100