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South Africa, WINE

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Arguably the world's most scenic wine-producing country, South Africa has both a centuries-old wine growing tradition and a newly found philosophy on modern viticulture. The climate is truly Mediterranean, thanks to the Antarctic Benguela Current, and the soils here are by far the oldest in the wine world, a mix of granite, sandstone, and shale, all of which naturally curb vine vigor.

Prior to 1974, there was no official recognition or definition of individual regions, but since the Wine of Origin scheme was adopted, South Africa's producers and regulators have enthusiastically embraced the concept of geographic diversity and expression. While many wines still bear the broadly general Coastal Region or Western Cape designations, there are numerous smaller districts laying claim to their fair share of fame. North of Cape Town, the Swartland district produces some of the country's most fashionable red wines from old vines of Syrah and Grenache, and its sub-zone of Darling is prized for its crystalline, cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc.

To the east of Cape Town lie Paarl and Stellenbosch, South Africa's most well-known modern wine districts. The more inland of the two, Paarl is enclosed on three sides by striking mountains and produces equal quantites of admirable Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Closer to the Atlantic Ocean and its influences, Stellenbosch was once a hotbed for Chenin Blanc, but its maritime, Bordeaux-like climate and soils have led to the dramatic expansion of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz, which now produce some of South Africa's finest red wines. Finally, jutting out on the Cape of Good Hope itself, Constantia is the source of South Africa's most historically famous wine, a decadently sweet, dessert wine of the same name. At the foot of the iconic Table Mountain, this tiny region produces predominantly grassy, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc with trademark cool-climate vibrance, thanks to the constant effects of the southeasterly Cape Doctor winds.

Very few New World wine regions bear the weight of history that South Africa does, but as it has emerged from the yoke of apartheid and over-regulation, the country's wine industry is not only embracing that history, but also looking forward to a future of nearly unlimited potential.

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71% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cinsault and 1% Viognier. The nose is exceptionally intense and complex with red berry fruit juxtaposed against a dark, brooding fruit compote and Swartland violets. The wine has a soft, smooth entry, a rich mid-palate and the abundance of red and… ...
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Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block Franschhoek 2015  (#701507)

Other Red Blends from Western Cape, South Africa

[ 71% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cinsault and 1% Viognier. The nose is exceptionally intense and complex with red berry fruit juxtaposed against a dark, brooding fruit compote and Swartland violets. The wine has a soft, smooth entry, a rich mid-palate and the abundance of red and black berry fruit follows through with balanced acidity and svelte cocoa powdery tannins. The wine has a long, lingering finish reminiscent of Swiss dark hazelnut chocolate. Alcohol 14.7%. ] 71% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cinsault and 1% Viognier. The nose is exceptionally intense and complex with red berry fruit juxtaposed against a dark, brooding fruit compote and Swartland violets. The wine has a soft, smooth entry…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
88 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay, a blend of 80/20% respectively, replaces the Sandstone label. It has a straightforward, slightly earthy/smoky bouquet. The palate is well balanced but perhaps missing some complexity, a quaffing white Walker Bay to enjoy… ...
WA 88
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Ashbourne Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Walker Bay 2015  (#701928)

Other White Blends from Walker Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 88 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay, a blend of 80/20% respectively, replaces the Sandstone label. It has a straightforward, slightly earthy/smoky bouquet. The palate is well balanced but perhaps missing some complexity, a quaffing white Walker Bay to enjoy over the next 12-18 months. Drink: 2017-2019. (Apr 2017) ] 88 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay, a blend of 80/20% respectively, replaces the Sandstone label. It has a straightforward, slightly earthy/smoky bouquet. The palate is well balanced but perhaps missing some…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
$15.95
$18.00
Save $2.05 (11%)18.00
Save $2.05 (11%)
88 points Jeb Dunnuck: A blend of 86% Syrah, 13% Mourvèdre, and the rest Viognier, the 2016 The Wolftrap Red is a plummy, blueberry, meaty, spice-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of fruit, and a charming style. It s well made and will keep for 2-4 years. Drink: 2018… ...
JD 88
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Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Red Western Cape 2016  (#701665)

Other Red Blends from Western Cape, South Africa

[ 88 points Jeb Dunnuck: A blend of 86% Syrah, 13% Mourvèdre, and the rest Viognier, the 2016 The Wolftrap Red is a plummy, blueberry, meaty, spice-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of fruit, and a charming style. It s well made and will keep for 2-4 years. Drink: 2018-2022. (3/20/18) ] 88 points Jeb Dunnuck: A blend of 86% Syrah, 13% Mourvèdre, and the rest Viognier, the 2016 The Wolftrap Red is a plummy, blueberry, meaty, spice-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of fruit, and a charming style. It s well…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$9.95
$12.00
Save $2.05 (17%)12.00
Save $2.05 (17%)
95 points Jamie Goode (The World of Fine Wine): (13% ABV; 3.8g/l RS) A lovely wine, with a crystalline citrus-fruit character, good acidity, and appealing spiciness. Some apple and pear notes, with great tension. There's a hint of sweetness, but this balances the acidity really well. (Issue 60; 2018… ...
WFW 95
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Badenhorst Chenin Blanc Swartland Secateurs 2017  (#701995)

Chenin Blanc from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 95 points Jamie Goode (The World of Fine Wine): (13% ABV; 3.8g/l RS) A lovely wine, with a crystalline citrus-fruit character, good acidity, and appealing spiciness. Some apple and pear notes, with great tension. There's a hint of sweetness, but this balances the acidity really well. (Issue 60; 2018) ] 95 points Jamie Goode (The World of Fine Wine): (13% ABV; 3.8g/l RS) A lovely wine, with a crystalline citrus-fruit character, good acidity, and appealing spiciness. Some apple and pear notes, with great tension. There's a hint of sweetness, but this…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$13.95
$16.00
Save $2.05 (13%)16.00
Save $2.05 (13%)
93 points Wine Spectator: Offers a lovely mix of gently steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense notes. A light mineral edge underscores the finish and the acidity is finely beaded. Drink now through 2021. 1,100 cases imported. (10/15/18) ...
WS 93
JS 93
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Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2017  (#701964)

Pinot Noir from Walker Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 93 points Wine Spectator: Offers a lovely mix of gently steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense notes. A light mineral edge underscores the finish and the acidity is finely beaded. Drink now through 2021. 1,100 cases imported. (10/15/18) ] 93 points Wine Spectator: Offers a lovely mix of gently steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense notes. A light mineral edge underscores the finish and the acidity is finely beaded. Drink now…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
$44.95
$53.00
Save $8.05 (15%)53.00
Save $8.05 (15%)
93 points Neal Martin (WIne Advocate): ...offers complex and quite arresting aromas of walnut, wax resin, linseed and smoke that blossom in the glass, always as much an intellectual proposition as a sensory one. The palate is well balanced with superb balanced, very saline in the mouth, evoking… ...
WA 93
WS 92
ST 91
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Alheit Cartology Western Cape Bush Vines 2015  (#701632)

Other White Blends from Western Cape, South Africa

[ 93 points Neal Martin (WIne Advocate): ...offers complex and quite arresting aromas of walnut, wax resin, linseed and smoke that blossom in the glass, always as much an intellectual proposition as a sensory one. The palate is well balanced with superb balanced, very saline in the mouth, evoking images of the sea, fanning out with citrus fruit mixed with hazelnut and Chinese five spice. This is yet another killer wine in the Cartology series since 2011. Drink 2017-2030. (Apr 2017) ] 93 points Neal Martin (WIne Advocate): ...offers complex and quite arresting aromas of walnut, wax resin, linseed and smoke that blossom in the glass, always as much an intellectual proposition as a sensory one. The palate is well balanced with…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
WA 93
WS 92
ST 91
91 points Wine Enthusiast: Lovely, bright notes of green citrus, pear, greengage and fig set the stage for this crisp, refreshing white, with secondary hints of fresh straw, lanolin and strawberry hull add additional layers of interest. The palate boasts a fresh, chalky mineral texture, with a final… ...
WE 91
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Quinta Essentia (Betz) Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2016  (#331873)

[ 91 points Wine Enthusiast: Lovely, bright notes of green citrus, pear, greengage and fig set the stage for this crisp, refreshing white, with secondary hints of fresh straw, lanolin and strawberry hull add additional layers of interest. The palate boasts a fresh, chalky mineral texture, with a final hint of just-toasted almond on the evolving close. Drink now-2023. Alcohol 14%. (Apr 2018) ] 91 points Wine Enthusiast: Lovely, bright notes of green citrus, pear, greengage and fig set the stage for this crisp, refreshing white, with secondary hints of fresh straw, lanolin and strawberry hull add additional layers of interest. The palate…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
93 points Wine Spectator: A bright, fresh style, with unadorned raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors streaming through, flecked with dried anise, black tea and shiso leaf notes. A well-embedded iron hint through the finish adds spine and cut. Very refined. Grenache. Drink now through 2022. 572… ...
WS 93
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Sadie Family Soldaat (Grenache) Piekenierskloof Swartland 2016  (#701799)

Grenache/Garnacha from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 93 points Wine Spectator: A bright, fresh style, with unadorned raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors streaming through, flecked with dried anise, black tea and shiso leaf notes. A well-embedded iron hint through the finish adds spine and cut. Very refined. Grenache. Drink now through 2022. 572 cases made. (2/28/18) ] 93 points Wine Spectator: A bright, fresh style, with unadorned raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors streaming through, flecked with dried anise, black tea and shiso leaf notes. A well-embedded iron hint through the finish adds spine and cut. Very…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
51% Pinotage, 38% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. A full bodied red wine with hints of coffee character and loads of wild berries. A full round palate with soft tannins and a good structure. Good balance of fruits, wood and acidity. Food Pairing: Game meat and game fish pairs very well with Cape… ...
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Stellekaya Cape Cross Stellenbosch 2009  (#325640)

Other Red Blends from Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 51% Pinotage, 38% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. A full bodied red wine with hints of coffee character and loads of wild berries. A full round palate with soft tannins and a good structure. Good balance of fruits, wood and acidity. Food Pairing: Game meat and game fish pairs very well with Cape Cross. Fruity desserts like coffee mousse with apricot strudel matches well with this wine due to its berry flavors. Alcohol 13.5%. ] 51% Pinotage, 38% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. A full bodied red wine with hints of coffee character and loads of wild berries. A full round palate with soft tannins and a good structure. Good balance of fruits, wood and acidity. Food Pairing:…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$24.95
$29.00
Save $4.05 (14%)29.00
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93 points Stephen Tanzer (Vinous): Bright, moderately saturated red. Subtle perfume of raspberry, red cherry and herbs. Lovely light touch and inner-mouth perfume to its red cherry, tart red berry and spice flavors. Boasts lovely lift and finishing grip but this is not at all a fleshy style. Still,… ...
ST 93
WA 91
WE 91
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Savage Follow the Line Western Cape 2015  (#328558)

Rhone Blends - Red from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 93 points Stephen Tanzer (Vinous): Bright, moderately saturated red. Subtle perfume of raspberry, red cherry and herbs. Lovely light touch and inner-mouth perfume to its red cherry, tart red berry and spice flavors. Boasts lovely lift and finishing grip but this is not at all a fleshy style. Still, it shows a bit more intensity and length than the Girl Next Door Syrah, as well as a saline complexity. Drink 2019-2025. (May 2017) ] 93 points Stephen Tanzer (Vinous): Bright, moderately saturated red. Subtle perfume of raspberry, red cherry and herbs. Lovely light touch and inner-mouth perfume to its red cherry, tart red berry and spice flavors. Boasts lovely lift and finishing…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
ST 93
WA 91
WE 91
$39.95
$45.00
Save $5.05 (11%)45.00
Save $5.05 (11%)
91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Toasty aroams of grilled apple, peach and honeycomb lead the way on the nose of this attractive wine, though with some restraint and overall balance, thanks to supporting acidity and ripe, juicy fruit flavors on the palate. Notes of sweet orange oil… ...
WE 91
WS 90
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De Wetshof Chardonnay Robertson Bon Vallon 2016  (#701926)

Chardonnay from Western Cape, South Africa

[ 91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Toasty aroams of grilled apple, peach and honeycomb lead the way on the nose of this attractive wine, though with some restraint and overall balance, thanks to supporting acidity and ripe, juicy fruit flavors on the palate. Notes of sweet orange oil and ginger-peach tea grace the medium-length finish. Drink now-2019. Alcohol 13.5%. (May 2017) ] 91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Toasty aroams of grilled apple, peach and honeycomb lead the way on the nose of this attractive wine, though with some restraint and overall balance, thanks to supporting acidity and ripe, juicy fruit…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$16.95
$20.00
Save $3.05 (15%)20.00
Save $3.05 (15%)
94 points James Suckling: A really stylish white with white stones, dried apricots, white blossoms, lemon curd, jasmine and caramelized citrus peel. Medium to full body, some really nice phenolic texture, very zesty acidity and an pinpoint finish. Drink now. (6/21/18) ...
JS 94
JD 93
WS 93
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Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2017  (#701963)

Chardonnay from Walker Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

[ 94 points James Suckling: A really stylish white with white stones, dried apricots, white blossoms, lemon curd, jasmine and caramelized citrus peel. Medium to full body, some really nice phenolic texture, very zesty acidity and an pinpoint finish. Drink now. (6/21/18) ] 94 points James Suckling: A really stylish white with white stones, dried apricots, white blossoms, lemon curd, jasmine and caramelized citrus peel. Medium to full body, some really nice phenolic texture, very zesty acidity and an pinpoint finish.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JS 94
JD 93
WS 93
$31.95
$41.00
Save $9.05 (22%)41.00
Save $9.05 (22%)
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