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_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_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_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_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_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.
- Item #: i_378302Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine was a unanimous staff favorite and when we found out we could offer it at $9.99 we bought a bunch of it. Mike Dobrovic has crafted an impressive rose with fragrant earthy aromas of cherry and strawberry and a creamy, flavor-packed palate with fresh acidity and a lingering finish. This rockin' rosT is fantastic on its own but will pair well with salmon, turkey, barbequed meats and steaks!
- Item #: i_382778Bottle Size: 750mlSkerpioen (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.