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Wines of South Africa

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Most of South Africa's vineyards are located at the bottom within the Western and Northern Cape regions of the country and being influenced by both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The popular white grapes grown depending on whether its high and cool or low and hot are Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The favoured reds would be Cinsaut, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz and its own claim to fame the Pinotage.

Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants, Southampton, Hampshire, UK hold stocks of South African red, white and rose wines, especially wines produced in the following top eight defined wine regions:

STELLENBOSCH……….is the second oldest South African wine region after Constantia. The near-by ocean keeps the summer temperatures just above that of Bordeaux and the soils are perfect for growing the red wine grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage. There are three white wine grapes that do well in this area, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

PAARL……….some say Paarl is the only wine region in South Africa that can successfully grow every grape variety grown in the whole of South Africa. A big boast, but the mix of fertile mineral rich soils, low lying plains, high valleys, variable temperatures all support this probability. Certainly no one grape is King and no one wine producer is leader of the pack. The sheer diversity of wine styles champion crispy whites similar to the Loire right through to big luscious dessert wines, the reds follow a similar pattern from the light fruity Beaujolais styles right through to big deep Rhone style wines.

DURBANVILLE………..has an excellent reputation for producing top quality red wines and classic style Sancerre type white wines. The grapes are grown on granite based soils principally on the slopes of the Tygerberg Hills, combined with cooling breezes in the summer all helping to produce premium quality wines.

OLIFANTS RIVER VALLEY…………a hot scorching river valley landscape surrounded by the Gifberg mountain range produced enormous quantities of wine, most for blending and every day drinking and a little from small parcels of land closer to the hills will match the best of South Africa.

FRANSCHHOKE…………is an area with higher elevation vineyards which favour white wines such as Chardonnay and Semillon, the wines produced are fruity, well balanced with good acidity. More recently some areas have given way to red wine production, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and on the cooler slopes much success is being experienced with Pinot Noir.

ROBERTSTON…………is located in the picturesque Breede River Valley greater wine region, close to the river itself. The best white wines come from the Chardonnay grape and for the reds, Shiraz is tops by a long way. Also, the area over many years has built up a reputation for good quality dessert wines and fortified wines.

SWARTLAND……….a well established wine growing area ideally located close to the Atlantic west coast, historically known for bulk wine production, but now has a reputation for big full bodied red wines and fine quality fortified wines. Also worth noting are white wines from Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, which thrive in the Kasteelberg and Perdeberg mountain region where cooler temperatures are a key factor.

WALKER BAY……… located in the cooler climate region east of Cape Town along the Indian Ocean coast. A region that has witnessed great expansion over the last thirty years, with many growers copying the cool climate varietals and styles of Europe. .

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Tokara Reserve Collection Syrah, Stellenbosch 2019

Tokara Reserve Collection Syrah on the nose is intensely perfumed with aromas of dark cherries, mulberries and hints of violets and white pepper spice there is a real savoury nature to the palate. It is full of flavours of forest berries and herbal spice. The tannins are fine and firm with a lingering grip to the finish. The wine is beautifully balanced with a certain amount of restraint.

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750ml £32.25

Gabrielskloof Bot River Elodie Chenin Blanc, 2023

Gabrielskloof Bot River Elodie Chenin Blanc has subtle aromas of citrus and wild flowers on the nose, followed with layers of almond and dried pineapple. The palate is medium-bodied with more fruit, including mango and lychee, good acidity provides a lovely fresh finish.

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750ml £32.95

Gabrielskloof, "Magdalena" Walker Bay Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2023

Gabrielskloof, \"Magdalena\" Walker Bay Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc is intense and well-integrated on the nose, with a layered bouquet of lime flower and almonds in the background. The palate has a delicious sweet and sour zestiness, which is balanced with a creamy, almost chalky finish.

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750ml £32.95

Cape Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve, Franschhoek 2021

Cape Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve has a bright straw yellow colour with golden highlights and exquisite aroma, with scents reminiscent of tropical fruit, ginger, spice and oatmeal. Well structured and minerally with flavours of lime

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750ml £33.98

Cape Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve, Franschhoek 2022

Cape Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve shows a ruby red colour, with notes of cherry, wild red berries, crushed black pepper and violets on the nose. Although firm in structure and intense in flavour, textures are mellow and round, expanding with time to extraordinary opulence and length on the palate.

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750ml £33.98

Fairview "The Beacon" Swartland Shiraz, 2019

Fairview \"The Beacon\" Swartland Shiraz is dark ruby red in colour. Lovely aromas of soft spice and ripe black cherries, this Shiraz very much resembles a Syrah from the Northern Rhone. The palate is full-bodied with lots of rich fruit, has a firm structure and very supple tannins.

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750ml £34.85

Gabrielskloof Bot River Syrah on Sandstone, 2020

Gabrielskloof Bot River Syrah on sandstone has vibrant red fruit aromas combined with black olive and white pepper. Relatively light in the mouth, but with a concentration of flavours and good structure.

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750ml £36.50

Tokara Directors Reserve Red, Stellenbosch 2019

Tokara Director’s Reserve Red has stunning depth of colour. Displaying intense garnet centre and a ruby rim. When first smelling the wine aromas of sweet red berries, briary fruit and hints of cassis strike you. There are wafts of fynbos, hints of perfume and notes of dark chocolate. The wine enters onto the palate with a smooth and silky texture. The flavours are that of sweet red and dark berries, with the spice of dried herbs and skilky tannins lingering on the finish. This wine is complete and in balance.

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750ml £37.50

Gabrielskloof, Walker Bay Cabernet Franc 2020

Gabrielskloof, Walker Bay Cabernet Franc is deep ruby red in colour, this wine has aromas of cherry, blackcurrant and strawberry, with an earthy minerality and hints of tobacco leaf and cedar. This is a medium bodied wine with fine, integrated tannins and long finish.

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750ml £37.98

Jordan Reserve Cobblers Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Jordan Reserve Cobblers Hill Cabernet Sauvignon\'s palate is richly layered and intriguing with a variety of opulent flavours which includes Sichuan pepper and blackcurrants. The 24-month barrel ageing adds viscosity and a spicy finish.

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750ml £42.98

Jordan Reserve Nine Yards Chardonnay 2022

Jordan Reserve Nine Yards Chardonnay has a style characterised by refreshing linear acidity and mouthfilling fruit textures. Classic Nine Yards flavours with lime citrus and fragrant oak spice.

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750ml £43.80