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South Africa, WINE

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Arguably the world's most scenic wine-producing country, South Africa has both a centuries-old wine growing tradition and a newly found philosophy on modern viticulture. The climate is truly Mediterranean, thanks to the Antarctic Benguela Current, and the soils here are by far the oldest in the wine world, a mix of granite, sandstone, and shale, all of which naturally curb vine vigor.

Prior to 1974, there was no official recognition or definition of individual regions, but since the Wine of Origin scheme was adopted, South Africa's producers and regulators have enthusiastically embraced the concept of geographic diversity and expression. While many wines still bear the broadly general Coastal Region or Western Cape designations, there are numerous smaller districts laying claim to their fair share of fame. North of Cape Town, the Swartland district produces some of the country's most fashionable red wines from old vines of Syrah and Grenache, and its sub-zone of Darling is prized for its crystalline, cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc.

To the east of Cape Town lie Paarl and Stellenbosch, South Africa's most well-known modern wine districts. The more inland of the two, Paarl is enclosed on three sides by striking mountains and produces equal quantites of admirable Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Closer to the Atlantic Ocean and its influences, Stellenbosch was once a hotbed for Chenin Blanc, but its maritime, Bordeaux-like climate and soils have led to the dramatic expansion of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz, which now produce some of South Africa's finest red wines. Finally, jutting out on the Cape of Good Hope itself, Constantia is the source of South Africa's most historically famous wine, a decadently sweet, dessert wine of the same name. At the foot of the iconic Table Mountain, this tiny region produces predominantly grassy, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc with trademark cool-climate vibrance, thanks to the constant effects of the southeasterly Cape Doctor winds.

Very few New World wine regions bear the weight of history that South Africa does, but as it has emerged from the yoke of apartheid and over-regulation, the country's wine industry is not only embracing that history, but also looking forward to a future of nearly unlimited potential.

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98 points Tim Atkin, MW: Right up there with the equally brilliant 2016, this incredible blend of Semillon Blanc and Gris from Henk Laing’s Trekpoort farm on Citrusdal Mountain took six months to finish fermenting in 2017. A “ridiculous vineyard” it may be, but the wine it produces is rich and waxy… ...
TA 98
V 96
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Sadie Family Kokerboom (Semillon) Swartland Old Vine 2017  (#702208)

Sémillon from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

98 points Tim Atkin, MW: Right up there with the equally brilliant 2016, this incredible blend of Semillon Blanc and Gris from Henk Laing’s Trekpoort farm on Citrusdal Mountain took six months to finish fermenting in 2017. A “ridiculous vineyard” it…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
94 points James Suckling: A really stylish white with white stones, dried apricots, white blossoms, lemon curd, jasmine and caramelized citrus peel. Medium to full body, some really nice phenolic texture, very zesty acidity and an pinpoint finish. Drink now. (6/21/18) ...
JS 94
JD 93
WS 93
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Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2017  (#701963)

Chardonnay from Walker Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

94 points James Suckling: A really stylish white with white stones, dried apricots, white blossoms, lemon curd, jasmine and caramelized citrus peel. Medium to full body, some really nice phenolic texture, very zesty acidity and an pinpoint finish.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
JS 94
JD 93
WS 93
$31.95
$41.00
Save $9.05 (22%)41.00
Save $9.05 (22%)
93 points Neal Martin (Vinous): ...Chris Alheit’s Chenin Blanc-based white blend showed brilliantly: taut and focused on the nose, perhaps stricter than previous vintages, with scintillating tension and energy on the palate. Drink: 2018-2030. (Jun 2018) ...
V 93
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Alheit Cartology Western Cape Bush Vines 2016  (#702212)

Other White Blends from Western Cape, South Africa

93 points Neal Martin (Vinous): ...Chris Alheit’s Chenin Blanc-based white blend showed brilliantly: taut and focused on the nose, perhaps stricter than previous vintages, with scintillating tension and energy on the palate. Drink: 2018-2030. (Jun…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
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99 points Tim Atkin, MW: My favourite Sadie wine changes from vintage to vintage – let’s face it, there are so many candidates. In 2017 it’s ‘T Voetpad, a world-class wine that’s made from the oldest field blend in the country. Just a fingertip from perfection, it combines in a seamless whole.… ...
TA 99
V 95
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Sadie Family 'T Voetpad White Blend Swartland 2017  (#702200)

Other White Blends from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

99 points Tim Atkin, MW: My favourite Sadie wine changes from vintage to vintage – let’s face it, there are so many candidates. In 2017 it’s ‘T Voetpad, a world-class wine that’s made from the oldest field blend in the country. Just a fingertip from…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
96 points Tim Atkin, MW (2018). 93 points Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2016 Palladius comes from 17 different vineyards... It has a well defined bouquet, quite neutral in style but blossoming with aeration to reveal hints of lanolin and melted candle wax. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity,… ...
TA 96
V 93
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Sadie Family Palladius Swartland 2016  (#702199)

Other White Blends from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

96 points Tim Atkin, MW (2018). 93 points Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2016 Palladius comes from 17 different vineyards... It has a well defined bouquet, quite neutral in style but blossoming with aeration to reveal hints of lanolin and melted candle…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$99.95
$116.00
Save $16.05 (14%)116.00
Save $16.05 (14%)
98 points Tim Atkin, MW: A great grower, a great site, a great winemaker and a great vintage: it doesn’t get much better in the Chenin Blanc world than this stunning, focused, multi-dimensional white from Basie van Lill’s property on the Skurfberg. Combining citrus and stone fruit flavours, it’s a… ...
TA 98
V 96
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Sadie Family Skurfberg (Chenin Blanc) Olifants River Region 2017  (#702209)

Chenin Blanc from Western Cape, South Africa

98 points Tim Atkin, MW: A great grower, a great site, a great winemaker and a great vintage: it doesn’t get much better in the Chenin Blanc world than this stunning, focused, multi-dimensional white from Basie van Lill’s property on the Skurfberg.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
95 points Tim Atkin, MW: Ever a one to make bold statements, Eben Sadie calls Tinta Barocca “the best grape in the Swartland”. This is certainly a brilliant red, bristling with attitude and daring you not to enjoy it. Grippy, serious and made to age, with plum and damson fruit and tarry, savoury… ...
TA 95
V 93
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Sadie Family Treinspoor (Tinta Barocca) Swartland 2017  (#702201)

Other Red Wines from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

95 points Tim Atkin, MW: Ever a one to make bold statements, Eben Sadie calls Tinta Barocca “the best grape in the Swartland”. This is certainly a brilliant red, bristling with attitude and daring you not to enjoy it. Grippy, serious and made to age,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
93 points Wine Spectator: A bright, fresh style, with unadorned raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors streaming through, flecked with dried anise, black tea and shiso leaf notes. A well-embedded iron hint through the finish adds spine and cut. Very refined. Grenache. Drink now through 2022. 572… ...
WS 93
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Sadie Family Soldaat (Grenache) Piekenierskloof Swartland 2016  (#701799)

Grenache/Garnacha from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa

93 points Wine Spectator: A bright, fresh style, with unadorned raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors streaming through, flecked with dried anise, black tea and shiso leaf notes. A well-embedded iron hint through the finish adds spine and cut. Very…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
91 points Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2017 Pinot Noir from Tesselaarsdal (one of my discoveries in 2017) has an attractive bouquet of crushed strawberry and red currant aromas and a touch of undergrowth in the background. The palate is well balanced with lovely, slightly plump red fruit, but there is… ...
WA 91
JS 90
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Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge 2017  (#702132)

Pinot Noir from Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

91 points Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2017 Pinot Noir from Tesselaarsdal (one of my discoveries in 2017) has an attractive bouquet of crushed strawberry and red currant aromas and a touch of undergrowth in the background. The palate is well balanced…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
$44.95
$53.00
Save $8.05 (15%)53.00
Save $8.05 (15%)
91 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): A blend of 50% Pinotage, 34% Shiraz and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon... The nose is very perfumed with hints of peppermint infusing the black plum and black cherry fruit, with white fennel revealed by continued aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin… ...
WA 91
ST 90
JS 90
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Warwick Three Cape Ladies Cape Blend Western Cape 2013  (#702044)

Other Red Wines from Western Cape, South Africa

91 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): A blend of 50% Pinotage, 34% Shiraz and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon... The nose is very perfumed with hints of peppermint infusing the black plum and black cherry fruit, with white fennel revealed by continued…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WA 91
ST 90
JS 90
$24.95
$35.00
Save $10.05 (29%)35.00
Save $10.05 (29%)
93 points Wine Spectator: Offers a lovely mix of gently steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense notes. A light mineral edge underscores the finish and the acidity is finely beaded. Drink now through 2021. 1,100 cases imported. (10/15/18) ...
WS 93
JS 93
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Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2017  (#701964)

Pinot Noir from Walker Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

93 points Wine Spectator: Offers a lovely mix of gently steeped cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, infused with singed anise, black tea and incense notes. A light mineral edge underscores the finish and the acidity is finely beaded. Drink now…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
$44.95
$53.00
Save $8.05 (15%)53.00
Save $8.05 (15%)
91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Toasty aroams of grilled apple, peach and honeycomb lead the way on the nose of this attractive wine, though with some restraint and overall balance, thanks to supporting acidity and ripe, juicy fruit flavors on the palate. Notes of sweet orange oil… ...
WE 91
WS 90
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De Wetshof Chardonnay Robertson Bon Vallon 2016  (#701926)

Chardonnay from Western Cape, South Africa

91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Toasty aroams of grilled apple, peach and honeycomb lead the way on the nose of this attractive wine, though with some restraint and overall balance, thanks to supporting acidity and ripe, juicy fruit…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$16.95
$20.00
Save $3.05 (15%)20.00
Save $3.05 (15%)
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