Opaque, deep purple colored with slow moving legs (14% ABV). The nose has aromas of dark plum, black cherry, purple licorice and a touch of smoke and coffee. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and bold tannins that cover my cheeks. Flavors of black cherry, blackberry and black plum with coffee and smoke on the back end. There is a touch of bitterness on the finish showing perhaps some greeness in the tannins? Full bodied with a medium finish, this is going to pair well with my grilled Tri-tip and Boerewors sausage. Not overly complex or rich, it is tasty and easygoing wine with short term cellaring capacity. I would drink this 87 pointer till 2025 and for $13 it’s a 4 star effort to stock up on for barbecues and parties. Salut….
Deep, opaque purple colored with thick slow-moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose excites me- rich black cherry, pencil shavings, bell pepper, garigue and açaí berry compote. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very smooth medium tannins. It’s a medium to full-bodied wine that has flavors corresponding to the nose plus a bit of spice box and tobacco. A medium length finish rounds this delicious single varietal wine up nicely. I like it- 93 points and for $20 this is a steal of a 5-star effort to drink till 2025. I’m pairing mine with a combo Cottage/Shepards Pie (one side with beef the other side with lamb). Salut….
Medium lemon/lime colored- this South African Sauvignon Blanc has characteristic aromas of cut grass, gooseberry, lemon and grapefruit. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and distinct flavors of the aforementioned aromas. The body is medium (-) and the wine finishes long with a tart crispness. It’s delicious stuff that makes me want to keep sipping. 88 points from me make this $10 wine a surefire 5 star effort to drink in the short term with seafood, perhaps a poached chicken salad or even grilled salmon. Very refreshing in the summer heat. Salut….
Medium lemon/lime color. Pronounced aromas of papaya, pineapple, ripe pear, honeysuckle, stone and guava. Dry palate with medium (+) acidity and medium body. The tropical fruit and crispness/minerality of this wine are delicious. The finish is medium in length and I’m really enjoying the mouthfeel. Really yummy, especially chilled on this hot summer’s day. We are grilling jumbo prawns on a bed of crisp salad. Drink now. 90 points for this $18 effort makes it a 5 star wine. Ps. this varietal is also known as Steen in South Africa. Salut….
A classic Bordeaux blend of 33% Cab Sav, 30% Petit Verdot, 11% Cab Franc, 10% Malbec and 6% Carménère from the Western Cape of South Africa. Deep ruby in color the wine has thin legs in the glass. On the nose I get lush, ripe aromas of blackberry, black currant and plum. Oak influence is evident with notes of cedar box and coconut, it is slightly herbaceous with some bell pepper but not overly so. The palate is dry with medium tannins and juicy acidity. The wine is medium bodied and not as jammy as the nose. Nice flavors of blackcurrant, plum, coconut, cedar and not so much pepper. The finish is medium length and certainly tart from the lingering acidity. The whole package is pretty balanced and drinks nicely now with another 4-5 years of cellaring possible. I would say the palate is a bit of a letdown from the nose- I was hoping for full throttle, getting only 75%. Overall it’s a decent drop that gets 90 points from me and for $20 it’s a no-brainer to stock up on. 5 stars, similar to the 2017 KWV Mentors I drank recently. Salut….
I enjoy Pinotage quite a bit. It’s a grape that was created by cloning Pinot Noir and Cinsault. This one is semi opaque and a lovely shade of purple in the glass. The nose gives me chocolate, espresso bean and blackberry. On the palate it is very fruity with black currants, black cherry and dare I say- coffee. There is a richness to this wine that I am really enjoying, full bodied with rounded tannins and good acidity. The mid palate goes old school with some smoke, dust, jerky and brooding dark fruit. I am missing the acetone flavors I normally associate with this varietal, it’s kind of unique. The back end is dry, dusty and has nice tannins to finish. I like this wine and would pair it with almost any meat dish, perhaps even pasta. 89 points from me with a drink till 2025 window. At $21 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
Pinotage is an interesting grape to me. I’m excited for this South African wine that is bright purple in the glass and semi opaque. On the nose it has telltale tar and blackberry notes. The palate is rich with sweet blackberries, bramble, earthy dust and that tar component I get so often with this varietal. The mid palate has some cola, sassafras and more black fruit. It’s got lithe tannins that build but never overtake the fruit. There’s a nice acidity but it’s not overly done. The earthiness of this wine is something to behold, it’s got a gamey note to boot. I really like the way it finishes with a flurry of different flavors wrapped in an easy drinking package. The structure encourages short term drinking so get popping. I’m paring it with leftover Kebabs and fried potatoes. 90 points for this $20 gem make it a 5 star wine for me! Salut….
This South African Cab is a dark shade of reddish purple and is semi opaque. The nose is steeped in dark fruit compote, a touch of mint perhaps and coffee bean. The initial palate is very smooth with some nice blackberry notes along with espresso and chocolate powder. Very gentle, lithe tannins make it very easy to drink but conversely- it lacks structure for the long haul. The mid palate is more blueberry and plum. The finish is very fruity with nice black and blue berries to go with vanilla. There is a hint of oak influence that I am enjoying. The mouthfeel is really pleasing and I am thoroughly enjoying this wine as an aperitif. It will pair nicely with lighter fare and drink well till 2024. 89 points from me and 4 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
It’s a rich shade of purple with thick legs and an opaque hue. The nose is fresh, briny and full of purple fruits. On the palate I get primal black berries, dark cherry and iodine laced oak. The mid palate is fruity, juicy and shows off a slight tannic bite. The dark fruits are well at play and overshadow the structural components. The finish has a nice crunchy set of tannins that interplay with the fruit and acidity. This wine is a touch green but I am enjoying it’s youth and basic fruitiness. It has some structure for the short to medium term cellaring but I feel it won’t evolve too much. This is a very decent everyday drinker that will serve well against burgers, ribs, pasta and pizza. It gets 87 points from me and for $9 it’s a 3 star wine. Drink till 2022. Salut…
Pale gold in the glass, it is crystal clear. On the nose there’s lemon, melon, pear and lychee. The palate echoes those flavors from front to the finish. There is a unique mouthfeel, effervescence, without the bubbles. The acidity is in check but not shy. It adds depth and cut. The Chenin Blanc varietal is widely found in France and South Africa. Differing climates produce variations on the flavor profile but this grape is very enticing, versatile and delicious. I am going with 88 points and 4 stars for this $9 offering that you should drink till 2022 with grilled chicken, sausage and mash or even smoked salmon. Salut….