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South Africa

Secateurs Chenin Blanc

Adi Badenhorst, who gained a reputation as one of South Africa’s most talented winemakers during his years at Rustenberg, began his own label with wines from purchased fruit in 2006, then bought his estate in Swartland in 2007.  The winery is located on a mountain range which is a granite outcrop and three distinctive types of granitic soil are found on the property.

Badenhorst works in a decidedly low-tech, non-interventionist style.  They farm organically whenever possible.  Grapes are never de-stemmed.  Wines ferment in open-top fermenters and rest in a mix of large, used oak foudre and cement tanks.

The 2015 spent time on its lees in concrete tanks and old casks – this is an important part of the maturation and gives incredible texture and palate weight to the wine. The aromas are flinty with honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit notes.

$14.99

 

Raats Family Wines Jasper Red Blend

Raats Family Wines specializes in only two grapes: Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.  Cabernet Franc takes the starring role here, making up 85{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} of the Jasper, a Bordeaux-inspired blend.  The grapes grow in 100{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} decomposed Dolomite granite soils with an average vine age of 20+ years.  Grapes are hand sorted three times, crushed and left to cold soak on the skins for five days.  After fermentation the grapes were basket pressed. The wine was then aged for 16 months (in a mix of French oak barrels) prior to bottling.

Neal Martin from the Wine Advocate loved this wine, giving it 92 Points:

The 2013 Red Jasper is a blend of 85{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Cabernet Franc, 5{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Cabernet Sauvignon, 5{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Malbec, and 2.5{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} each of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Thus far, it represents the largest proportion of Cabernet Franc. Raised for 16 months in French oak (20{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} new), over the last 12 months it has evolved a more classic, tobacco-tinged bouquet that remains very well defined. The palate is also less fleshy, revealing its structure and agreeable austerity that renders this very “classic” in style. The acidity is perfectly in tune with the fruit with an almost foursquare finish. This is a perfect Claret doppelgänger in everything but price.

$19.99

 

Tygerberg Pinotage 2013

This wine is named after the seemingly ‘spotted’ hills that early Dutch settlers though resembled leopard pelts in the Durbanville district.  The estate has been owned by the same family since the 1850s!  Brothers John and Oliver dry farm this 100{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Pinotage from clay-rich soils that retain a lot of water to combat dry summers.

Pinotage is South Africa’s signature red grape.  It was created there in 1925 as a cross between Pinot Noir (hard to grow well) and Cinsault (flourishes in South Africa).  Pinotage wines, including the Tyberberg, generally offer generous plum and black fruits.  Pinotage really shines in it savory complements to the fruit: licorice, dried herbs, and a distinct tea-like character all make an appearance here.  12 months French oak barrel aging softens and rounds out the flavor profile.  This bottle is the perfect match for red meat cooked on the grill.

$24.99

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