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Wines of South Africa
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SOUTH AFRICAN WINES ONLINE
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………..is 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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Gabrielskloof Bot River Sauvignon Blanc shows welcoming green melon and kiwi fruit on the nose, evolving into herbaceous notes of nettle and lemon grass, and ending with a white floral bouquet. The aromas follow through on the palate, which is mouth-filling and rich with great balance.
The Tin Mine Red is a purple red in colour, with the nose that exudes aromas of violets, dried spices and concentrated black prunes with a slow release of red cranberry and dark chocolate. The palate impresses with density on entry matched with persistent yet supple tannins - a multi layered wine. This texture is perfectly offset by balanced acidity that allows for a remarkable length of finish.
Fairview Darling Chenin Blanc is a vibrant light green colour in the glass with fruity aromas of melon and pear on the nose. The palate is fresh and crisp with lengthy, well balanced acidity and flavours of limey minerality typical to the Darling vineyards.
Fairview Darling Sauvignon Blanc has a bright green colour in the glass with tropical aromas, green figs and guava. Fresh grapefruit flavours give way to lime undertones which contribute to the wine\'s generous mid-palate and lingering, crisp finish.
Zevenwacht Estate Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc is a clear and bright wine with hints of lime and gold. The palate is both rich and refreshing and contains elements of honey, nuts and ripe pineapple and hints of yellow peach. The wine is classically dry, yet luxuriously silky with superb viscosity and length.
Goats do Roam \"The Goatfather\" Red Wine is a full-bodied wine with pronounced rich red fruit on the nose and hints of fresh violets. The palate mirrors the initial aromas with added warm spice flavours and nuances of vanilla on the finish.
Cape Chamonix Unoaked Chardonnay has a bright straw colour with greenish highlights and an intense aroma that recalls ripe apples, lime and pears with hints of herbs and tropical fruit. Bright and steely dry in flavour, the grapefruit and spice sensations are buoyed by zesty acidity that refreshes the palate through a smooth finish.
Cape Chamonix Rouge shows a deep ruby colour with garnet highlights on the rim. The generous bouquet suggests blackcurrant, cedar with scents reminiscent of red berries, spices and vanilla. The wine is amply structured; full, round and smooth on the palate with rich fruit and length of flavour. An elegant wine that can mature with time in the bottle.
Gabrielskloof, \"The Blend\" Walker Bay has aromas of black cherry and anise with hints of black pepper and tobacco leaf from the time in barrel. This wine has soft tannins, balanced with bright acidity and a juicy palate. The finish is long and lingering with hints of dark chocolate.
Spice Route, \"The Amos Block\" Swartland Sauvignon Blanc on the nose there are tropical and grapefruit notes with a lime character, typical of the Darling region. The palate is bursting with intense citrus flavours, this wine is a feat for such a variety in the hot Swartland climate.
Spice Route Swartland Grenache is a most elegant built wine that benefits from a lightness which does not hinder its fine complexity. Soft tannins and good acidity help to provide a subtle and fruity palate, with lots of juicy Grenache and warm spices.
Spice Route Swartland Mourvedre has black cherry infused with cardamon and nutmeg on the nose. Intense fruit shows well on the palate, with elegant mineral tones adding to the savoury character of the wine. Medium bodied with fine oak from the French oak barrels.
Julien Schaal Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay features lime and grapefruit which underpin what appears to be a serious, brooding wine. This is followed by sweet melon, sweet and sour plums and tout saline acidity.
Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, is a brilliant dark plum colour, with a ruby red rim. The bouquet has aromas of dark cherries, cassis and ripe plums. There are high tone notes of fresh red berries, nettles and mint. There is an underlying smokiness. The palate has stunning flavours of dark cherries, cassis and a certain savoury saltiness to it. The wine has a lingering finish with clean silky tannins and a touch of oak sweetness.
Post House Stamp of Chenin offers a nose of peach, citrus and liquorice. Rich and full bodied palate with delicate flavours of tropical fruit, orange and minerals. Soft round entry finishing with a long and full mouth feel. A hint of sweetness.