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_383467Bottle Size: 750mlThe vines for the "Raaigras" were planted in 1952, which make them "old," yielding a small number of bunches but with concentrated flavors. Aged in large, fairly neutral oak. Mid-bodied with moderate acidity, it's a beautiful expression of the variety.
- Item #: i_383230Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - " The 2018 Klip Kop is pure whole-bunch-pressed Chenin Blanc fermented in 1,200-liter foudres. It has a more backward bouquet compared to the Kelder, offering mirabelle and jasmine scents mixed with a light but fragrant honeysuckle tang. The palate is medium-bodied with a lovely saline note on the entry; tightly wound at first, it delivers plenty of lightly spiced, nutty/smoky notes toward the persistent finish. Superb."
- Item #: i_383235Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Cinsault Ringmuur is partly whole-bunch-fermented and aged in 500-liter barrels only (no foudres). Deeper and slightly more limpid in color than the Ramnasgras, it has a light morello cherry and pressed rose petal bouquet. The smooth-textured palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, offering white pepper, cloves and hints of tobacco toward the very harmonious and satisfying finish. Recommended."
- Item #: i_383491Bottle Size: 750mlTIM ATKIN 95 POINTS
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS -"The 2018 Sout van die Aarde is pure Palomino fermented in 500-liter barrels for 11 months. It has a light, neutral bouquet with discreet gravelly and sea spray scents, less oxidative in style than other Palominos found in the Capelands. The clean, fresh, lightly spiced palate offers a fine bead of acidity and a tang of lemongrass and dessicated orange peel on the finish. Very fine."
- 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_308006Bottle Size: 750MLVINOUS 92 POINTS - " The 2018 The Chocolate Block is sourced from the Goldmine and Porseleinberg farms, the Cabernet originating from Voor-Paaderberg, and matured for 16 months in used oak barrels. It offers generous black plum and black currant aromas, pressed rose petals and a touch of menthol. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, and much more structured than the vintages of old (as I have pointed out in previous reviews), displaying fennel, bay leaf and white pepper toward the finish. This feels long in the mouth. A classy Chocolate Block that treads a fine line between commercial and intellectual appeal."
A 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_377711Bottle Size: 750ml52% 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_382692Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2018 vintage of Columella is testimony to the bigger dynamics a regional blend has access to: the challenges brought about by the drought were completely addressed in this multi-vineyard, multi-varietal wine from across the Swartland. This may be the darkest fruit we have ever been able to capture at 13.5% alcohol and with the presence of Syrah in decline in the final blend, the influence of Grenache, Cinsaut, Carignan and Tinta Barocca is more pronounced. Our Mourve`dre component is the strongest it has ever been. This 2018 bottling is a wine with a big temperament: explosive, but not excessive. It is like a plane with perfect aerodynamics, flying effortlessly; very much in line with the 2001, 2008 and 2011. Ageing required.
- 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.
- 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: 750mlDECANTER 93 POINTS - "A very fine Chardonnay produced in difficult circumstances given the fire/smoke issues in the Western Cape. Unlike the Pinot Noir, this has been produced with 100% estate fruit and is very successful. Bunches were pressed whole (rather than de-stemmed) to reduce any smoke taint risks. Very crisp on the palate with fine acidity and a touch of stoned fruit, this is concentrated, mineral and elegant. Very youthful, ideally give this another 12 months to blossom a bit more [try in 2021]."
- 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_377342Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 93TIM ATKIN 94 POINTS - "Still youthful and showing its 80% new wood, this is a very ambitious Pinotage from a fantastic Cape red wine vintage, exhibiting considerable colour, structure and concentration, fine-boned tannins and layers of raspberry and black cherry fruit. Give it time."
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS
Kanonkop Estate is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch Region of the Cape and confidently boasts with some of South Africa’s most premium wines.
A complex wine with red fruit flavours. Big, elegant and ripe tannin structures. Will over time show more secondary and forest floor characteristics.
- 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
- Item #: i_383103Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 7% Malbec and 6% Cabernet Franc and spent 22 months in seasoned French oak. It has a classy bouquet of expressive red berry fruit, cedar and light undergrowth aromas that leans toward the Left Bank. The palate is medium-bodied with great sapidity right from the start. The tannins are extremely fine here, and the finish fans out gloriously with just enough bite to tempt you back for another sip. This is an outstanding Cabernet from winemaker Alex Starey."
- Item #: i_383945Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine shows off a modern, elegant style of Pinotage. The grapes for this wine were selected from two of our partners’ finest bushvine vineyards. One vineyard, located on the western slopes of Paarl mountain, is an early ripener and gives a fresher, brighter fruit style; the second vineyard sits on a bowl of shale and adds a richer, more structured component. The grapes were handled carefully and fermented at cool temperatures to preserve aromatics and pressed early to give a soft, plush mouthfeel.
- Item #: i_383941Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine shows off the versatility of old vine Chenin Blanc, upon which South Africa has built a strong reputation. It is a blend of two neighboring old-vine, dry-farmed bushvine vineyards, one planted in 1976 and the other in 1983, with the first giving more stone fruit and mineral characters, the latter giving concentration and texture.
- Item #: i_383224Bottle Size: 750mlShows intense citrus and soft fruit layered with honey and vanilla carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish. Coming from a 13 year old vineyard with decomposed shale oiver clay soils. Fermented and aged 11 months in 500 liter French Oak Foudres (40% new). Wine was slightly filtered before bottling. Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.
- Item #: i_381664Bottle Size: 750mlThis MAN thing all began with three friends and an idea: to make a wine that we ourselves would love to buy. Good quality, good value, good packaging. Not exactly an epiphany, but enough to motivate us into action. What do we name it? Keeping peace in the family, we took the first initials of our wives. (We each have one wife, that is.) So this is how we explained to Marie, Anette, and Nicky that we were going to be "busy" most weekends. It's for you! we told them. And it's mostly true. But MAN is not only about woMAN, it is about MANkind and huMANity as well. Remember, Africa is the cradle of MAN! For those of you that have experienced South Africa, it won't be a surprise if we state (objectively) that this is the most heavenly spot on earth. The winelands are stunning, with dramatic mountains, lush rolling vineyards, and that African blue sky. Taste a bit of Africa!"
Winemaker notes - The richest and fullest white wine in the M·A·N range, we've won fans with the very delicate oak flavours that are complemented by prominent fruit flavours and butterscotch notes. After a great deal of experimentation, we found the perfect balance by fermenting 10-20% of the wine in small American oak barrels, and keeping the rest of the wine on the lees for up to six months. Complex yet elegant, we're very proud of this grown-up Chardonnay.