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_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_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_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_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_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_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_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_380833Bottle Size: 750MLThis sublime bottling from Chenin master Bruwer Raats sets the standard for South African Chenin Blanc, consistently garnering 90+ scores from Wine Spectator. A portion of the wine is fermented and aged in barrel, resulting in a rich, profound offering that strikes a perfect balance between elegance and power. Luscious flavors of honeyed pear, butterscotch, citrus, and ginger and delicate hints of mineral and spice carry through on the seemingly endless finish.
- Item #: i_380012Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90Wine Enthusiast: 90 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "Made by Hamilton Russell Vineyard and named after a whale that's often found off the coast of Walker Bay, the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc brought up all in tank. Terrific notes of ripe grapefruit, lemon peel, and plenty of citrus emerge from this medium-bodied, vibrant, juicy and undeniably delicious white."
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS -"This white shows weight and zip, with a mix of lime and lemon pulp notes intertwined with thyme, honeysuckle and chive accents. Drink now through 2019."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS -"This attractive and well-balanced white leads with enticing notes of pressed lemon verbena, just-dried grass and fynbos that are framed by a fruity spine of Meyer lemon, melon rind and white nectarine. Orange-like, citrusy acidity weaves throughout the medium-weight palate, ending with verve and vibrancy. Drink now–2020."