Wow- inky, dark, thick and brooding in appearance. The nose is focused, plum torte and blackberry extract are my first impressions. On the palate it’s full of dark fruits, tar, mint and a meaty component. The tannins are so mild, melded and unobtrusive- making this a great sipping wine. It’s flavorful, easygoing, adaptable yet complex. The finish is really smooth with nice blackberry jam and bacon notes. Medium length. This is not a dry nor sweet wine- just nicely balanced between the extremes. Drink till 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $20 effort. The pros went higher, perhaps I need to re-calibrate! Salut….
Opaque, murky and dark purple in the glass. I always think of Pinotage as a very black grape, with medicinal notes, herbs, creosote and violets. Let’s see what this $12 offering gives
On the nose I get telltale tar, kerosene and purple fruits. On the initial it is textbook- charcoal, violets, that earthy creosote and plums. Loads of plums. Spices add to the tannins in the mid-palate, namely cinnamon. This is a tasty wine folks. The finale is very restrained, tannins are present but not overpowering. Acidity is lithe and the plummy notes are in force. 89 points and 5 stars. Drink till 2022 with wild game, roasted chicken or moussaka. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass. Bramble, creosote, black berries and blueberry jam on the nose. On the palate this is a tannic beast- full of dark fruits, young and brooding. It is laced with blackberries, toasty oak and mouth coating tannins. The midpalate has some telltale violets- the varietal shines thru. On the finish this wine offers black berries, more charred wood notes and those really grippy tannins. A touch young- it needs aerating or cellaring. Drink till 2027 with braised lamb, Moussaka or a thick steak. 91 points and 4 stars for this $40 Cab Franc. Salut….
Dark yet not very opaque. Typical for the varietal. Gorgeous nose of cherry reduction, dare I say mushrooms and old oak. The palate is super smooth and full bodied, showing off cherries and cola. The oak is dominant in this wine, but not obtrusive. The mid palate is round and slightly tannic. The cherries march on and the wine finishes with coconut notes, probably from the wood. 91 points and 4 stars for this $44 effort. Drink this Pinot Noir till 2025 with pasta, roasted Chicken or a cheese and salami plate. Salut….
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….