South African wine has a history dating back to 1659 with Constantia, a vineyard near Cape Town, being considered one of the greatest wines in the world. Access to international markets has unleashed a burst of new energy and new investment. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centers at Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester. There are about 60 appellations within the Wine of Origin (WO) system, which was implemented in 1973 with a hierarchy of designated production regions, districts and wards. WO wines must be made 100% from grapes from the designated area. "Single vineyard" wines must come from a defined area of less than 5 hectares. An "Estate Wine" can come from adjacent farms, as long as they are farmed together and wine is produced on site. A ward is an area with a distinctive soil type or climate, and is roughly equivalent to a European appellation. The grape varieties in South Africa are known as cultivar, with many common international varieties.
- Item #: i_382759Bottle Size: 750mlCartology is a cuvee that is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bush vines. The wine is alive and vibrant. Obviously it's just a baby, but so far has a nose of lime, fennel and quince. The palate is taught, very fine and balanced, with excellent structure and a persistent finish.
"The grapes are fermented exclusively with wild yeasts in old barrels, foundres, clay pots and cement eggs. The wine is aged in the same vessels. No additions are ever made, with the exception of sulphur, which is only added post-fermentation. " - BROADBENT IMPORTS
- Item #: i_383401Bottle Size: 750ml100% Chenin Blanc (Steen)
From Jancis Robinson's website: Nuttiness and warm coconuts and roasted cumin on the nose overlaying the sweetness of fruit on the palate. Sage and peaches, mid-summer apricots just picked. Wonderful grip and texture, taut. Plays like a Paganini violin solo. Hauntingly!
"Exceptional mouthfeel, texture, freshness and concentration of fruit are the norm from this site. This wine is only released in exceptional years. A rich, broad, opulent style with higher alcohol than the other Badenhorst Chenins, baking spice, cream and apple tart flavors and a taut finish.
The wine is fermented in old 1200L foudres, and matured for 15 months in the same vessels, then racked and bottled. " - BROADBENT IMPORTS
- Item #: i_383975Bottle Size: 750mlDecanter: 95 PointsDECANTER 95 POINTS - "An utterly delicious Cinsault from Swartland pioneer and champion of the Cinsault revival in South Africa, Andre Adrian (Adi) Badenhorst. The Ramnasgras comes from a small vineyard on the estate, planted in the mid 50’s, and is the product of meticulous hand selection, fermentation in ‘dodgy old wooden vats’ and maturation in ‘less dodgy foudre for 12 months’. Such is Adi’s way, the wine is made with minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery and is a true reflection of the vintage conditions and Swartland terroir. This is full of red berries and perfumed floral notes with a mineral edge. A small production of 3,500 bottles, so worth seeking out and stocking-up if you can. Was enjoyed as an accompaniment to the tasting menu at Luke Dale-Roberts’ Roundhouse restaurant Salsify in Camps Bay, Cape Town." Drinking Window 2019 - 2029
- Item #: i_377598Bottle Size: 750mlA perfect example of the elegance and finesse that is possible in Pinotage. Clean on the nose, with restrained aromas of red berries, plums and cherries on the nose, followed by a palate of excellent balance, structure and a lovely dry finish. Matches very well with bobotie (bah-boor-tea), game and curries, spare ribs and pepper steak.
"Pinotage was the very first wine made at Beaumont wines and 24 years later, they are still passionate Pinotage producers. 80% of the fruit comes from Beumont’s 45-yr old vines, which provide dryness and structure; the remaining 20% comes from younger, 22-year old vines, which provide lovely, vibrant fruit. The style reflects the cooler climate of the Bot River region. 2016 had healthy, dry conditions that allowed the fruit to ripen fully while retaining freshness. Grapes were harvested at 23.5–25.5 Brix from early February until late March, then crushed directly into concrete tanks, followed by an immediate inoculation for a clean fermentation. Regular punch downs were done 3-4 times per day to ensure good color and tannin structure. The wine matured for 18 months in 100% French oak (25% new), then aged an additional 8 months in tank. This is an elegant style of Pinotage showing aromas and flavors of fresh red berry fruit, and a deliciously drinkable medium body with well integrated tannins. "
- Item #: i_382363Bottle Size: 750ml"Pinotage genius Abrie Beeslaar shows all his understanding of this tricky grape.” —Tim Atkin, M.W.
Winemaker's Notes: "It has an intense ruby red color, with plum cake, red fruit, and dark chocolate aromas, offering savory finish on the palate.
Fermented in 5 ton open fermentors. The cap was punched every 2 hours for 60 hours until the right extraction was achieved. After pressing, malolactic fermentation was done in 250L French oak, and 300L American oak barrels. The wine matured for 19 months in the barrels."
- Item #: i_385911Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93Decanter: 94 PointsWINEMAKER NOTES - "The nose invites with its ripe mandarin orange, nectarine, angelica and peach blossom aromas. The intense citrus of the nose follows through onto a vibrant mid-palate, also showing lime, lemon verbena and lemongrass against a backdrop of fresh tangerine, orange peel and preserved lemon flavours with integrated acidity. The stone fruit character adds to the complexity on the palate and the slightly spicy finish with hints of quince and star aniseed compliments a very balanced wine."
DECANTER 94 POINTS - "...beautifully concentrated palate, rich but dry, with a glycerol-heavy texture. Flavours of honey, baked apple, sweet spices and fine black pepper are framed by wood and acid. The finish is extremely long and vibrant. A serious Sémillon to savour. Drinking Window 2017 - 2030."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS -"Sublime, with creamed tangerine, orange and nectarine flavors that are seamless and lengthy, laced with paraffin, verbena, bitter almond and orange blossom accents along the way. The long and very refined finish lets a flash of citrus oil linger longest. Drink now through 2028."
Made with a 3% dash of Muscat of Alexandria for an aromatic lift, and aged in 90% new French oak for 14 months. No sulphur additions during low temperature ageing.
- Item #: i_308006Bottle Size: 750MLA top South African red wine here from Boekenhoutskloof. The Chocolate Block is made with a blend of wine types, predominantly Syrah supported by Grenache, Cinault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. It spends over a year rest in French oak before being bottled up and shipped around the globe for wine enthusiasts that love a rich, chocolatey red.
- Item #: i_383404Bottle Size: 750mlCap Maritime is a new project from Marc Kent, the chief winemaker from Boekenhoutskloof. Marc has always considered the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley one of the most exciting places to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in South Africa. Cap Maritime, alongside the other Boekenhoutskloof brands, captures the essence of its terroir of origin while representing the style of wine to which Marc Kent aspires. Marc Kent is the driving force behind the dynamic farm. A maverick spirit, he is unafraid to experiment with the unconventional, but his principal commitment is to quality on every level and in every detail. The Cap Maritime Chardonnay is overtly mineral and stony with layers of limestone, crushed rocks and wet river pebble nuances melting into a melange of yellow citrus, white blossom, grape jelly, green melon preserve and the most subtle kiss of French oak spice. The palate displays a full plump mouthful with hints of ginger bread, grapefruit peel, wet chalk, green honeydew melon, pithy apple skins and a complex vanilla pod spice finish. Seamless and fresh with a harmonious texture from start to finish.
- Item #: i_377711Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94 PointsDecanter: 94 Points52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot
TIM ATKIN, MW 95 POINTS
DECANTER 94 POINTS - "Showcasing the Cape’s ability to turn out great Left Bank-style blends is this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine from Stellenbosch’s De Toren Private Cellar. Fusion V, the boutique winery’s flagship label, takes its name for its selection of the best of Bordeaux’s ‘noble 5’ grape varieties that comprise the blend...A rich and concentrated wine filled with mixed red and black berries, hints of dark chocolate and an oak-spiciness around the edges. It has a lovely smooth texture and is extremely drinkable. "
De Toren suggests pairing with "tender grilled or roast lamb, with garlic, rosemary, and a hint of honey lemon."
- Item #: i_380604Bottle Size: 750ml63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc"
TIM ATKIN, MW 92 POINTS
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Bright and fresh, with good lift to the cassis, plum and cherry coulis flavors that stream through, lined with light savory, singed vanilla and floral notes. The fresh, focused finish lets the fruit play out. Well done. "
- Item #: i_382692Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This sports a core of dark plum and blackberry paste flavors, staying polished and refined in feel, relying more on acidity than tannins, with the structure fully enmeshed in the fruit. Black tea, tobacco and alder hints chime through the finish. Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Tinta Barroca, Cinsault and Carignan. Best from 2019 through 2023. 790 cases made."
- Item #: i_382425Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, and Chardonnay, the aim is to produce a unique and honest wine displaying minerality as opposed to more opulent flavors. Painstakingly crafted using time-honored winemaking machinery (basket press) and methodology (pigage), this wine is a bottled rendering of the very terroir from where it was created.
VINOUS 97 POINTS - " - The 2017 Palladius is matured in a mixture of concrete and clay. It gradually unfurls with brioche, praline and honeysuckle aromas, wonderfully focused and precise. The well-balanced palate delivers orange zest and tangerine on the entry. The acidity is very well judged and there is real brightness and tension toward the finish. Is it the most complex Palladius Sadie has ever made? Maybe not, but it is still a beautiful wine."
- Item #: i_382192Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93In the late 19th century, and much of the 20th, Cinsaut was the workhorse red variety that played an undeclared role in some great red blends. It was an obvious candidate for inclusion in the Old Vine Series, although it poses many quality problems in the vineyard as well as the cellar, including the difficulty of keeping yields down and attaining perfect ripeness, plus its very oxidative character. There were five vineyards considered—but it became clear that the block on the Riebeek Mountain in the Swartland was far above the rest in quality (the snakelike form of the mountain gave the wine its name). After picking, careful sorting is vital to get rid of both under-ripe and over-ripe berries. The whole clusters are then placed in an old wooden open-top fermenter, with one or two punch-downs by foot each day to slowly release juice for fermentation. After a month on the skins the grapes are transferred by hand into a tiny basket press and pressed directly to an old wooden cask. The wine is bottled after a year or so, to retain the fruit and elegance of the wine and avoid any premature oxidation character.
- Item #: i_382471Bottle Size: 750mlThe Soldaat comes from vineyards in the Piekenierskloof. The unirrigated vineyard was planted in the mid 1960s at around 708 meters of altitude in decomposed granite soil with a slight easterly slope. The most planted red grape variety in the world is Grenache Noir. It has had a long standing position in South Africa, but it is very site specific. The Piekenierskloof Pass, going north to Citrusdal, has firmly positioned itself as the leading location for Grenache. It got its name from foot soldiers (piekeniers) located at the top of the mountain to protect livestock from theft, hence being named Soldaat (Soldier). Naturally fermented with wild yeasts. Fermented and aged in concrete vessels.
TIM ATKIN, SOUTH AFRICA SPECIAL REPORT 93 POINTS
- Item #: i_382473Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine blends Chenin Blanc from old bushvine parcels on three farms on the slopes of the Skurfberg ("rugged mountains") between Clanwilliam and Lamberts Bay in the Olifants River Region. They are immaculately farmed properties, which have not been subjected to herbicide or chemical fertilizers by the current farmers. Most of the soils in the area are of decomposed sandstone, and very sandy. Rainfall is low - these vines have had to be tough to survive without irrigation. Together these three low yielding parcels represent the possibilities of the area, each offering something unique to the complexity of the whole. The one site has huge and aromatic fruit concentration; the second offers an earthy character and minerality, and the third (the highest, and closest to the Atlantic) retains amazing acidity and freshness. The three parcels of fruit were vinified separately. They were basket-pressed and then transferred directly to old casks where natural fermentation took place. We blended them after 12 months, and then left them to age another six months before bottling.
- Item #: i_381019Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Wine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "A dark, alluring style, with gunpowder tea and warm ganache notes underscoring the core of steeped red and black currant fruit. Features a singed cedar and alder frame, accented by a tobacco hint. Should open up nicely in the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2017 through 2022."
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2012 Signature is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% each of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot; it has a very pure bouquet with cedar-infused blackberry and strawberry fruit. With further investigation, there are touches of incense and cassis, the latter from the Petit Verdot. The palate is smooth and sensual on the entry, just a hint of chocolate (though there is no American oak), with very good depth and it fans out nicely on the finish. It has a hedonistic bent for sure, but Louis Strydom is a skilled winemaker and he pulls it off here, as he has done in previous vintages."
- Item #: i_380928Bottle Size: 750MLBright lime green hue. Hints of peach, marmalade and orange blossom on the nose. Green apple fruit flavours on a full creamy palate. Calling Card: Only very lightly oaked for everyday drinking. This wine is perfect with grilled seafood, or lightly spiced Thai chicken.
- Item #: i_376021Bottle Size: 750mlTop-notch Cabernet for $6.99? You bet! The wine proffers gobs of gorgeous, up-front fruit capturing lush vectors of ripe plum, black cherry, boysenberry and black currant fruit deftly accented with sundry hints of spice, carob and espresso. The wine's bright fruit is clearly the star of the show. And while Excelsior's finish showcases just a bit of this wine nation's unique volcanic soil, we think you'll agree that Excelsior could easily have emanated from such familiar locales as Napa or Bordeaux. The beauty of the bottle is the price as we don't often see wines of this quality from either of these renowned regions coming in at the sub-$10 niveau.
- Item #: i_382559Bottle Size: 750mlTIM ATKIN 94 POINTS - "The crop was tiny in 2018 - half of the normal yield, according to Emul Ross - but the quality and style of this celebrated Chardonnay is as good as ever. Fermented in amphorae and 29% new oak barrels, with 40% malolactic, it's elegant, savoury and oatmealy. Citrus rather than stone fruit flavours predominate on the palate."
- Item #: i_377599Bottle Size: 750ml"Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha and our philosophy of expressing our terroir in our wines – give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of our Pinot noir. Our Pinot noir is not overtly fruity, soft and "sweet" and it generally shows hints of that alluring savoury "primal" character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume."
Aged 10 months in mostly lightly toasted French oak, about 1/3 new.
- Item #: i_380949Bottle Size: 750mlJam Jar Sweet Shiraz is packed with fresh, juicy flavors of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with dark chocolate undertones. Striking a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, this refreshing and approachable wine is great to sip on its own and matches up equally well with meat dishes, cheeses, and desserts.
- Item #: i_377339Bottle Size: 750ML37% Pinotage, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Kanonkop's widely-produced "emissary of South African wine" is straightforward and highly drinkable, with blackcurrant and tealeaves on the nose and palate, with just a subtle savory sensation from the skins. Round and soft, with a refreshing acidity to carry it along.
TIM ATKIN, MW 91 POINTS