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_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_382354Bottle Size: 750mlLong referred to as "Bayten" by locals, Buitenverwachting (meaning beyond expectations) is located on the east-facing slopes of the Constantiaberg on the Cape of Good Hope. Ocean breezes make this area one of South Africa's coolest winegrowing areas, allowing for slow ripening, resulting in grapes that achieve full ripeness while retaining fresh acidity. This wine was aged on the lees for three months prior to bottling. Bayten offers a melange of citrus and stone fruits with honeysuckle, jasmine and green notes on the nose. The palate reveals peaches, apricots, lemon rind and lemongrass with a nice balance of richness and refreshing crispness on the finish.
- Item #: i_382440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Very enticing, with creamy green and yellow apple, pear and melon flavors laced with verbena and honeysuckle notes, kissed elegantly by a sweetened butter hint through the finish. This is why people love Chardonnay. Drink now through 2021."
- 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: 750mlWine Advocate: 95This 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_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_378947Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ENTHUSIAST BEST BUY - "There's a strong green, herbal edge to the nose of this refreshing white, expressed in waves of lime peel, peppery herbs and green bean. The lightweight and direct palate offers pithy citrus tones that lend a pleasant astringency to the tart finish. Enjoy now."
- Item #: i_377739Bottle Size: 750mlConsiderable concentration, yet still made in a fruitforward, fresh and lively style. Round, with juicy red cherry and raspberry flavors, followed by nice earth and pepper notes on the finish. Shiraz, Pinotage, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Carignane.
- Item #: i_382559Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93#57 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Melon, yellow apple, white peach and quince flavors give this an opulent feel, harnessed by honeysuckle and quinine accents through the finish, showing refinement and length in the end. Drink now through 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_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_383461Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Age of Grace comes from purchased Viognier fruit from Elgin grown on rose quartz soil. It has a well defined bouquet of yellow plum, mirabelle, apricot blossom and subtle popcorn aromas. The palate is clean and precise with a fine line of acidity, hints of stem ginger complementing the tropical fruit (passion fruit and peach skin), and the finish is spicy and quite persistent. Excellent." Neal Martin
- 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_383225Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI, VINOUS 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc was matured 75% in 500-liter barrels and 25% in concrete eggs. This has a more vivacious and slightly more fruit-driven bouquet of yellow plum and light nectarine notes, complemented by touches of crushed stone and gooseberry. Perhaps one of the finest Sauvignon Blanc aromatics I have encountered this vintage. The palate is well balanced with gorgeous orange peel, light black currant and gooseberry notes, just about perfect acidity and a very precise, long finish. It is an outstanding follow-up to the 2016, perhaps even better."
- Item #: i_382778Bottle Size: 750mlVINOUS 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Skerpioen is an equal blend of Chenin Blanc and Palomino from 80-year-old unirrigated vines on pure limestone soils. It has a crisp, marine-influenced, cockle-shell-scented bouquet, veering toward Chablis in style. The palate is beautifully balanced, with a fine line of acidity, and very saline in the mouth. Walnut and a dab of ginger emerge toward the finish. Excellent."
Skerpioen (Scorpion) is a very unique, unirrigated old vine parcel planted on the West Coast near the village of Dwarskersbos. One of the most amazing aspects of this vineyard is the fact that it is planted in chalky (limestone) soils in one of the coolest parts of the Swartland region, located a mere 2km from the Atlantic Ocean—but this is also a very dry location with an average rainfall of around 300mm per year. The cool climate and restrictive growth as a result of the limited water availability have resulted in this 60-year-old-parcel rendering a unique quality wine with a distinctive imprint. Its 2.4 hectares of old vines are mainly planted with Chenin Blanc and Palomino. Skerpioen is a field blend of both varieties—they are picked and pressed together, and co-fermented in old wooden casks. The most obvious characteristics of this wine is its incredible crisp acidity and freshness; and the line of minerality—thanks to this very unique soil.
- Item #: i_383425Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Pretty yellow apple, mirabelle plum and white peach flavors are gilded with honeysuckle and verbena notes. Shows good length on the finish, with a pretty whiff of shortbread. Chenin Blanc.Smart Buy"