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Robin Garr

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Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:40 pm

It's been a while since our last Wine Focus on a South African topic, so let's head toward this interesting wine region for the month of July. I couldn't find any of the nation's trademark Pinotage at a neighborhood wine shop, but did come home with a delicious pink wine that made a great drink for an already summer-hot late spring day - notes posted below. Grab a bottle of something good from South Africa, and come, join in the conversation!
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:40 pm

Mulderbosch 2015 Coastal Region Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($10.99)

Clear, pretty rosy pink that shows a hint of orange against the light. Its delicate but delicious scent offers light strawberries at first, then opens up to add hints of red cherry and juicy peach as the wine warms in the glass. These appetizing mixed fruit flavors carry over on the palate in a crisp, tart and dry flavor, with just a touch of prickly petillance on the tongue. Subtle strawberries and a tangy edge of citrus linger in a very long finish, and light 12.5% alcohol invites another glass. U.S. importer: Terroir Selections, St. Helena, Calif. (May 23, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: The winery leans toward a seafood match, suggesting pairings with fresh, seared tuna steaks, veal limone, poached salmon, cold crayfish salad, or sushi, with picnic fare or as an aperitif. We enjoyed it with linguine tossed with pastured eggs, garlic and Grana Padano cheese.

WHEN TO DRINK: Its Cabernet base and its sturdy modern screwcap assure a reasonable life, but still, rosés are best young and fresh, and the 2016 has already reached the market. I suggest drinking up the 2015s this summer and keeping an eye out for the most recent vintages in the future.

VALUE:
My local price is within reach of the 10$ U.S. average retail calculated by Wine-Searcher.com. Many vendors offer it for around $8. At these prices, it's worth loading up for use as a summer sipper.

WEB LINK
Here's a winery fact sheet on Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, and a "tasting report on the 2015 vintage. And finally, here is a more detailed technical sheet.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Locate vendors and compare prices for Mulderbosch Coastal Region Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Patchen Markell » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:29 pm

This is an auspicious topic for me. Andrea recently took her first trip to SA (for work, and it may become a regular thing) and we've been trying to get to know South African wine as a result. Two recent bottles -- notes from now-fuzzy memory -- included:

BLANKbottle 2015 Ceres Plateau (Western Cape) Syrah, "Little William." $28.00. This was a very good, relatively unadorned, varietally transparent high-elevation Syrah from a quirky maker whose Semillon we'd enjoyed recently in a Chicago restaurant. I recall that it leaned a little more toward the floral than the savory side of Syrah, and that it had a really engaging push-and-pull between ripeness and brightness. We agreed that we'd get it again at that price, and thought it was comparable in quality and interest to California Syrahs that sell for $35+.

Storm Point 2016 Western Cape Red Wine. A blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Carignan. Screwcapped, $12.00. This was a lark: I was browsing the medium-sized SA section in the local Beverage Superstore, saw nothing I was looking for, but decided to get this because it was twelve bucks and -- please don't ban me from the forum -- I liked the label. And it was solid stuff. A little Rhôney-earthy, a little tart cranberry, fairly generic but pleasant, balanced, and not tarted-up.
cheers, Patchen
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:41 pm

Patchen Markell wrote: I liked the label

I see what you did there. :twisted:

However, you are forgiven.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Patchen Markell » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:48 pm

Whew!

At least there are no critters on the label: https://goo.gl/images/2rE9B8
cheers, Patchen
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:33 pm

Blank wines seem to be of real interest, I noted TN above. Here is some info on a very enterprising estate.....http://www.blankbottle.co.za/home

BTW, I have been a very keen supporter of SA wines and have a nice selection here at home including some Straw Wine from Mullineux.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:39 pm

I'm usually wary of reds that come in at 14.5% ABV or more, but this one's a keeper.

Spice Route 2013 "Chakalaka" Western Cape Red ($20.99)

Dark reddish-purple, almost black at the core, with bright ruby glints against the light. Delicious scents of black plums, blackberries and raspberries add just a subtle hint of warm spice in the aroma. Ripe, juicy plums dominate an appetizing flavor shaped by food-friendly acidity and a significant edge of soft but perceptible tannins, with a bit of heat showing from its 14.5% alcohol. Mixed berries and a fresh, citric snap linger in a very long finish. A blend of 50% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 13% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan, 8% Grenache, and 6% Tannat. U.S. importer: Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, Ala. (June 1, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: This wine would go well with just about any red-meat variation or cheese-based dishes. We went the cheese route and were very satisfied with its affinity for creamy burrata cheese mixed with a spicy, chunky quick Italian-style tomato sauce over linguine.

WHEN TO DRINK: It's good now, despite the tannins, but would likely reward two or three years in a good cellar; beyond that, its potential for long-term cellaring is anybody's guess.

VALUE:
My $21 local retail price tag is a bit above the $18 U.S. average on Wine-Searcher.com, but it's good enough that I'd somewhat grudgingly pay that price again.

WEB LINK
Neither the Spice Route winery website or the website of importer Vineyard Brands offers any information about the Chakalaka red, but the winery site is an attractive destination with good photos of the winery and vineyards and information about its history and terroir.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Spice Route "Chakalaka" Western Cape red on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:42 pm

Okay, is this a failed topic, or are we just slow getting started? :(
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Peter May » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:35 am

Robin Garr wrote:Mulderbosch 2015 Coastal Region Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

U.S. importer: Terroir Selections, St. Helena, Calif.


Importer and owner of Mulderbosch since 2010.

As I recall, Mulderbosch under the new ownership moved lock stock and barrels, swapping winery and vineyards with Kanu winery
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Peter May » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:38 am

Robin Garr wrote:Okay, is this a failed topic, or are we just slow getting started? :(


I didn't notice it until just now
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Chakalaka

by Peter May » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:45 am

Here is the fact sheet for the 2013 Chakalaka

http://www.spiceroutewines.co.za/wp-con ... kalaka.pdf

I've always liked the Chakalaka, but its not too easy to find in the UK and it's not cheap here. I've got one 2013 at home that I brought back from the Cape.

I think, probably wrongly, that grapes that don't make the grade for Malabar are used in Chakalake and in years Malabar isn't released sees an improved Chakalaka.

Accordingto fact shet the 2013 is 14% abv
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KWV Classic Collection Pinotage 2015

by Peter May » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:00 pm

I presented a tasting of premium Pinotages on 2 June* but having a brief taste while talking isn't the same as having wine with dinner.

This month I've only had
KWV Classic Collection Pinotage 2015


KWV is the reinvented huge co-operative,now a private company and recently making some really excellent wines, a far cry from 20 years ago.

Classic Collection is, I believe, KWV's entry level label. But this Pinotage doesn’t disappoint.
It’s bright in the glass with medium colour. Made in a modern style, clean as a whistle with fresh spicy fruit flavours and very drinkable. An everyday Pinotage at a very competitive price.

Grabbed this wine to go with a Indian meal from M&S, a late dinner after a whole day out and a long drive home.

WO Western Cape
14% abv
Closed with screwcap
£6.25 retail (incl all taxes).

*report at http://www.pinotage.org/2017/06/newts-p ... sting.html
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Re: Chakalaka

by Robin Garr » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:01 pm

Peter May wrote:Here is the fact sheet for the 2013 Chakalaka

http://www.spiceroutewines.co.za/wp-con ... kalaka.pdf

Thank you, Peter! For some reason, I could not find that in my searches. I did like the Chakalaka quite well, in spite of my instinctive aversion to a dinner wine with 14.5% claimed ABV.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:48 pm

Always been a big fan of Rustenberg and over the past few years their Sauv Blanc has been a go to white for me.

2015 Rustenberg Sauv Blanc (South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch)

Quite a lightish greeny yellow color. Citrus, apple and some tropical fruits on the nose but does not overpower.
The aromas show the same tones on the palate but the acidity is a nice plus. Seems to have a richness one does not normally find in SA sauvignons so that is a nice plus for me. Went well with pork and chicken kebabs with a light curry type marinade.

***next up Bellingham Old Vines Chenin Blanc which always seems to need some bottle age.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Tim York » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:52 am

I don't think that I'm going to get round to buying a South African bottle this month. My hopes were raised when I spotted a bin at a caviste saying "Afrique du Sud - Pinotage 24€" but the bin was empty and there were no back-up bottles; in any case 24€ is a lot to pay for that variety.

The best I can do is to reproduce my TNs on the two South African bottles which I have consumed since living in France and using CT -

2013 Warwick Estate Pinotage Old Bush Vines - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (10/20/2015)
Possibly the best Pinotage I have ever had, with a welcome absence of rubber notes but full of personality which differentiates it from other wines. Full/medium bodied with, in European parlance, a warm Mediterranean character in its liquorice undertow but full of lively red and dark fruit with a cherry and raspberry tinge, decent acidity and an aroma, not exactly old books, for which I have problems in finding an analogy. Slight alcoholic burn on the finish, but not too much, together with hints of dry caramel coarseness which I might have attributed to new oak had I not read on the estate's site that it only sees used barrels. Good wine but not good QPR at the €20 charged by Lavinia.
Image

2015 Morgenhof Estate Chenin Blanc - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch (12/16/2016)
This was much better than the blandly international and oaky offering which the back label and TNs of previous vintages led me to fear. It was quite rich and generous but subjectively dry and showed citrus, peach and quince veering to tropical fruit with soft rather creamy texture but also with some minerals and enough acidity for balance and freshness together with a discreetly caramelised spine for structure. Good.
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Posted from CellarTracker
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:26 am

Thanks, Tim! Those recaps are useful, and I regret locking you out this month. I didn't realize that your options in France would be quite that limited, although I know we're spoiled in the U.S. with relatively good international choice.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Jim Grow » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:59 pm

"I'm usually wary of reds that come in at 14.5% ABV or more, but this one's a keeper."



Hey Robin, I think you are missing out on a lot of excellent red wine, both Zinfandel, Cabernet and even some Bordeaux. As long as the wine is well balanced, the ABV should not matter and not be "hot" either. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:36 pm

2012 Bellingham Chenin Blanc The Bernard Series Old Vine, Western Cape.

3 yrs in the cellar, SC, 14% alc. Think around $26 Cdn, always feel put away for a while as can have oak tones and I am not keen on that in my SA CB.

Bright light gold color, earthy, floral nose, no wet wool! Some nutty hints after an hour open, more so on day 2.
Medium-bodied, nice finish, good acidity here and fruit balance. No big tropical fruits.."lemon and honeycomb" from across the table. It is all so fresh and inviting, clean and crisp. Wonder how the 2014 will show in time?
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Tim York » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:09 am

Believe it or not I found a South African red called Ugaba at our local supermarket costing c.€10. It's a Syrah, CabSauv, Petit Verdot blend but 14.5% alcohol so I not sure when I'll get round to opening it given that the temperatures are warming up here into the upper 20sC.

PS: I've just discovered that two Bordeaux trophy names, de Boüard and Prats, are associated with this wine venture. That explains its presence here.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Peter May » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:30 am

Ugabo is not a name I recognise. If the wine has a Wine & Spirit Board seal on its neck, or an 'A' number on the label, enter the digits here http://www.sawis.co.za/sealsearch.php to find out which winery produced it.

(if it doesn't have a seal then it'll be a bulk shipped wine bottled outside South Africa.)
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Tim York » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:19 pm

Peter, the producer is Anwilka Vineyards, Stellenbosch, and there is a neck seal. I found out about the involvement of Hubert de Boüard (Ch. d'Angélus) and Bruno Prats (Cos d'Estournel) by googling http://www.kleinconstantia.com/our-farm/anwilka/.
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Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc: 2015

by Peter May » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:15 pm

Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Wine of Origin: Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

Delicious freshh grassy nose and initial taste, crips and refreshing served cold on a hot Friday evening with grilled fish.

But there's a more complex body, was is subtly oaked? No, no wood, but it spent three months on its lees which accounts for the fullness on the mid-palate. Ripe and complex with an inviting zip of acidity on the finish.

Lovely stuff
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:18 pm

Great, another Rustenberg note.
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Re: Wine Focus for June 2017: South Africa

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:57 am

Another bottle of the 2013 Secateurs Chenin Blanc last evening. Did not think much change from a previous TN so here goes.

TN: 2013 Badenhorst Family Wines Chenin Blanc Secateurs, Swartland SA.

Guess my third bottle. $18 Cdn, SC, 13.5% alc.

Pale yellow color, herbal mineral nose, not too waxy(?). "Ripe tropical fruit nose" comment from across the table. I found it quite appealing..quine and melon on the second day.
Initial entry thought is off-dry, good acidity, mineral tones, ripe apple, pear. Nice grip on the finish, some tartness, has held up very well overnight.
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