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….
Light purple, medium opacity. A nose of black currants and cedar shavings. On the palate- plums, blackberry, fig paste, iodine. Very nice mouthfeel, not overly tannic but a touch dry with low acidity and a decent finish. 89 points and a sure 5 stars for this $7 stunner, buy it by the case for short term cellaring and enjoy at it parties, barbies and with pretty much anything from the grill. Salut….
This wine was a perennial favorite many years ago. I gravitated to reds and rarely bought it, until I saw it on sale the other day. I’m making Sizzling Hoisin Shrimp tonight so I figured a Sauvignon Blanc would do the trick.
This wine is faint gold in color, not quite yellow, nor deep. The nose is bright, charming and packed with citrus notes. Grapefruit being the major player here. The initial taste is very refreshing, quince and citrus battling it out for dominance. The wine has a nice balance, not overly acidic yet a touch dry and offering a hint of bitterness. I get Almond seed on the mid palate which is probably how I sense the bitterness, it is unique. The finish is all lemon and persimmon. I am glad I bumped into this bottle, it really is tasty while remaining relatively modest in price. It refreshes and will go well with my dinner but I am thinking it may take on some spicy foods as well if you are in a pinch. 89 points and 4 stars for this $13 wine. Salut….
A pleasant purple with medium density. On the nose I get plums, a faint hint of cinnamon, black cherry and creosote thanks to the 9% addition of Pinotage. The balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. The initial taste is very Pinotage heavy, with more plums, some dark fruits and the telltale chemical note, often likened to nail polish remover. I like it. The wine transitions nicely and some very delightful tannins caress throughout. The flavor profile doesn’t change much throughout and the acidity is very fine, barely noticeable. The finish is relatively long, with the dark fruit balancing nicely with a hint of oak. The bitterness of the tannins is apparent right at the end but is not detracting. This is a tasty weekday wine that I would pop with stew, chili, grilled sausages and even burgers. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
This blend is really dark purple. Made up of 60% Petit Verdot, 20% each of Cab Sav and Shiraz. The nose is bursting with currants, juniper, a touch of oak and black cherry. The palate is very interesting and tasty. The Petit Verdot punches through with violets, dark cherry and leather. Tannins are persistent but not overpowering, they leave the gums slightly dry but give the wine a freshness. The mid palate gives me mocha as well as more dark cherries. The finish reveals a vanilla note as well as some wood. The winemaker has done a superb job of balancing the acidity, tannins and the 14% alcohol- which is not noticeable. The mouthfeel is what I would describe as wholesome yet fresh. It is relatively smooth with great potential to mellow out and possibly develop tertiary flavor. 90 points from me, drink till 2025 and pair it with lamb chops and garlic mash. 5 stars because this wine rocks and it runs a mere $9 (But I found it for $6.09 in NJ, you people should be running to that store). Salut….
I just recently had a birthday, not quite the big one, but just shy. I had a few mates over for what turned out to be a large night. We hit many regions and varietals, really hard. Anyway, this was a gift from one of my South African friends, I did not drink it that night, saving it for a proper tasting night. I’m glad I did!
A pretty purple color. Gorgeous nose of blueberries, oak, plums and leather. The initial taste consists of a very smooth dollop of blueberries, some fig paste and a dash of funky dryness that I can’t pinpoint. Tannins are well integrated but there is a nagging bitterness that troubles me. The midpalate has some very nice plums, a generous dose of acidity and some oak. The wine finishes strong with a dusty component and more blue fruits. This wine has a nice ‘spice meets leather and earth’ combo. I’m digging it if not for that irksome bitterness at the front end, which drops the score to a 90. The pros went high on this one, up to 94, but the consensus amongst the amateur crowd is in line with my rating. This wine is pricy if bought in the US, $50+, but a very sexy and seductive version of Syrah that should be enjoyed with a nice Filet. 3 stars. Salut….
Dark purple in the glass. Nose of black cherry and dark fruits. The palate is somewhat muted, but notes of tar, black currants and cedar abound. The wine possesses a certain level of acidity that balances the very mild tannins, which leave a drying sensation on the finish. This wine is decent, but somewhat boring. It does not transcend into anything different. It is good, yet plain. 88 points is where I feel this wine sits and I would pair it with lamb chops, venison and perhaps roast Guinea fowl. It can be found for about $12, which make it a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….