This has to be the lightest colored Pinot I have ever come across, the light red color has accents of orange and resembles strawberry juice. The nose is totally different- packed with flavors it belies the visual assumptions. Strawberry, kirsch, cinnamon and a touch of oregano all hit the nose. The palate is slippery smooth, very elegant yet has a surging power waiting to release. Strawberries, cherry torte, vanilla and rhubarb all appear on the palate. Extremely fine grained tannins are present, as is some lithe acidity that really hits on the mid – to finish. Speaking of which- I get sour cherries on the backend that I’m really enjoying. Toasty oak is prominent throughout but not obnoxious. I’m serving this up with grilled monkfish and boiled potatoes. A perfect match. 92 points and 4 stars for the $30 price point. I am really enjoying it! Drink till 2023. Salut….
Medium opacity, great purple color. On the nose creosote, blueberry, charcoal and plum jam. On the palate I get a darker fruit profile- blackberry, ripe plum. The mid palate hits me with cheek quenching tannins, not overly done- just makes me pucker a bit. The acidity also presents at the same moment. Intriguing to have my rear jowls hit by opposing forces. The finish gets me back to that mineral tone of creosote, perhaps some black olives, all tiptoeing around the tannic bite that crescendoed on the finish. An interesting wine that I am enjoying thoroughly. It’s needs meat though, pair it with game, lamb stew or something hearty. 91 points for this blend of 62% Pinotage, 22% Merlot, 12% Cab Sav and 4% Shiraz. Aerate for immediate enjoyment and drink till 2025. 5 stars for this $15 effort. Salut….
I have had two other wines from Vergelegen. Both were excellent so when I saw this Reserve offering I had to buy it! Medium intensity in the glass. Black currants, olive tapenade, charcoal and pencil on the nose. The palate has a ton of dark, ripe plums coupled with anise and violets. Rich and tannic, this wine has weight. The midpalate is all black currant. The grippy tannins don’t let go- all the way through the medium length finish. Dark fruits aplenty here. 91 points, drink till 2025. 5 stars again for this $22 bottle. Salut….
Picked this one up for $10 in Delaware, cause I was bored and wandered into a wine shop. I also happen to really like Pinotage. This one shows pretty light in the glass. It’s a pretty purple though. On the nose- textbook. Creosote, black fruit, earth and charred wood. On the palate, it is very fruity- plums, black berry and unique Kumquat note that I find very intriguing. An orange like testiness with some acidity to it. Very interesting. The mid palate has tons of that creosote flavor I associate with Pinotage. The tannins get a grip on the back end, but not overly so. The finish has an oak tinge to it along with black berry cobbler. A touch of vanilla rounds it all out. I must say, I really like this wine. It’s not very complex but it is really drinkable, is unique and is priced right. 88 points from me and 5 stars. It will pair well with the marinated Flap Steaks I have on the grill. Salut….
Given to me by a good mate from South Africa, I have been holding on to this one for the right time. It shows very rich purple in the glass. A 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% each Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it is a classical Bordeaux blend. The nose is a little muted, probably because I just pulled it out of the 55 degree cellar. I have managed to coax black cherry, ribena and toasty oak after several swirls. The palate is very smooth, rich plum ganache and black cherry reduction greet me with some somewhat pointy tannins. The wine has a definite wood profile, but is not over-oaked by any stretch. Rather, it is a unique flavor in the mix. Blackberry rounds out the finish which is quite tannic and dry. My gums are feeling it well into the second minute – quite long. There is a mintyness that comes across at the end that is interesting alongside a faint licorice note. Clocking in at 14% this wine is well built, balanced and totally ready for another 10 years in the cellar if you have the patience. 91 points from me for this $49 effort and 4 stars. Salut….
See-through purple. Nose is enticing with ripe blueberry, cocoa powder, mint and a touch of oak. The palate is very interesting with plum ganache, blueberry pie, cacao and super fine grained tannins. The mouthfeel is delightful, with some pinpoint acidity. The mid palate is ripe and rich, layered with espresso bean, vanilla and more oak. The finish is long, dry with tannins and mouthwatering with blueberry. 91 points and 5 stars for this $25 blend of Syrah (71%), Grenache Noir (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%). It was a gift, but I will be buying more. Delicious stuff for immediate drinking or cellaring till 2023. Salut….
We were over at our South African friend’s house for dinner and the hostess pulled this unfortified dessert gem out. I was not in much of a state to make notes, but I did scratch these down: Nose is unique- lanolin, beeswax, lemon curd, and turmeric. Orange marmalade and apricot jam are the key components on the palate. The finish is mid length, more orange notes yet the curry component still lingers. It is truly bizarre yet somewhat intriguing. I enjoyed it and appreciated the nuances of variety, the terroir differences and the subtle changes in style. 89 points from me and without any pricing info it’s hard to give it points. This Chenin Blanc is tasty and will pair beautifully with some Blue Cheese, Creme Brûlée or even some chocolate eclairs! Salut….
I’m always on the lookout for new stuff. I love Pinotage, finding it rather unique and somewhat inconsistent in flavor profiles between producers. That is not necessarily bad, it just adds to the different variations I can try of a unique to SA grape, grown in a rather limited geographical area.
This one is medium depth purple in the glass. The nose is delicious. Just what I was hoping for when I purchased this $17 bottle. Tar, violets, plum and that rubber smell that squarely denotes Pinotage. The palate is very rich, warm and full bodied. It gives off mocha, chocolate dust, star anise, blackberry, creosote and plum on the palate. Tannins are very refined, subdued and well integrated. The acidity is on pointe, not overbearing. The finish is medium in length and consists of mainly plum and that tar component I seek in this varietal. Good stuff! I am drinking this by itself but would pair it with roast chicken, wild game, steak and moussaka. I am going with 89 points and 4 stars. I have to disagree with the 86 point rating it got from one trade magazine, this wine belongs in my cellar for the short to medium term, drinking till 2022. Salut….
The iconic South African wine, a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and a touch of Petit Verdot- the penultimate Bordeaux style blend from sunny Stellenbosch. I have had various vintages of Meerlust, but I don’t think I waited as long as this 8 year old.
Somewhat opaque, medium hued purple in the glass. The nose is rich with plums, cassis, spice, oak and a surreal blackberry pie note that I love. On the palate- simply delicious. Black fruits, silky tannins, plums, cedar box, a touch of tar and very lithe acidity to go along with the delightful tannins. This is a powerhouse wine, aged to perfection and ready to rock n roll. The mid palate allows a certain degree of dryness to hit the gums, but not in an overpowering way. The blackberry streak continues all the way to the finish. The grippiness of the tannins builds the further they get along, culminating on the finish with a crescendo. The flavors carry right through on this wine, giving it a richness that I admire. The pairings are unlimited for this treat: steaks, stews, charcuterie, cheeses- nothing will interfere with its presence. I would save a few bottles if you buy more than one as it will mature well for at least another decade, smoothing out no doubt and adding more complexity. I am going with 93 points minimum on this $31 effort and give it 5 stars. Salut….
Nearly black in the glass, very brooding. The nose is a gorgeous mix of black berries, kirsch and cassis. I also get some black cherry which quickly translates over to the palate. Really nice, grippy tannins greet me with a dry sensation, which is perfect for the Lamb stew I am preparing. Dark fruit galore across the palate, with a touch of creosote, some mintiness and spice box. The wine takes on some smoke and pain grille at the end and the finish is long, interlaced with a mouth puckering tannic component. I am digging this wine, wishing I had more bottles to track evolution, betting it will age gracefully and take on some interesting secondary flavors. Drink till 2025. I think this wine deserves 91 points and am giving it 4 stars for its $43 tag. Good stuff. Salut….