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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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Jordan Estate Black Magic Merlot uses part whole-berry fermentation and softer pump-overs to extract aromas of red plums and dark bitter chocolate. French oak maturation seasons the wine to accentuate the seductive flavours and generous velvety tannins.
Jordan Estate The Long Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon features fully developed flavours and soft ripe tannins without compensating the tension and elegance captured from the various cabernet slopes. Here especially, the climate plays a significant role to allow great fruit expression and classic essences of cedar, brambles and toasted tobacco.
Cape Chamonix Cabernet Franc shows a deep ruby mulberry colour and intense bouquet with scents reminiscent of bell pepper, red berries, spice and cigar box. A wine of ample structure fills the mouth with concentrated fruit and berry sensations.
Cape Chamonix Greywacke Pinotage has a deep garnet red colour with tinges of dark violet when young. The bouquet is complex with scents recalling wild berries, spice and cherries. On the palate the wine shows full body and rich dark chocolate bitles extract with fruit flavours balanced elegantly by tannins with a long and lingering finish that reveals a sweetness reminiscent of liquorice.
Fairview Paarl Sweet Red has a very dense ruby colour in the glass with purple glints. Prunes and Christmas cake aromas on the nose. The palate is well balanced, full of soft warm spice and mixed dried fruit, followed by richly sweet, fortified flavours.
Post House Penny Black, Heidelberg is an elegant wine with a soft entry but with a firm but supple finish. Dark inky black colour. Initial bouquet of floral petals, blackcurrant, fruitcake, white pepper and spice. Rounded tannins and ample fruit results in a layered and complex wine.
Cape Chamonix Chardonnay shows bright straw yellow colours with golden highlights and ample aromas in scents that recall tropical fruits and grapefruit, mingling with hints of oatmeal, caramel and nutmeg. Medium-bodied with richly complex flavours of fruit. The wine is balanced and supported by a touch of light oak, carrying through tilt to the last sip.
The Saboteur White Blend features an appearance of pale straw with a hint of lime green. Aromas of white peaches, chalky, litchi, cinnamon spice and citrus blossom. A palate of citrus bon-bons with a textured mid pallet of ripe green plums and naartjie life savers with a long, balanced finish.
Spice Route, \"Chakalaka\" Swartland is deep ruby red in colour. Aromas of clove and subtle white pepper followed by plum with hints of elegant spice. A luscious and rich palate followed by smooth, integrated oak and well-balanced tannins.
Cape Chamonix Troika has deep ruby-mulberry colour when young, with scents that recall vanilla, sweet ripe cherries, blackberries and other spices. The wine is amply structured; full, round and smooth on the palate with rich fruit and berry sensations, fine harmony and length of flavour.
Cape Chamonix Feldspar Pinot Noir has a bright red colour. The bouquet is complex with scents recalling wild berries, spice, sour cherries and violets. On the palate the wine shows medium body with fruit flavours balanced elegantly with tannins in a long finish
Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay has a vibrant golden straw colour. The nose has intense aromas of lemon blossom, citrus preserve and ripe yellow fruits. The subtle oaking is evident by hints of roasted almonds and fresh toast which underpin the vibrant fruit aromas. The palate is rich and full yet amazingly fresh and mouth watering. The flavours of ripe papaya and pineapple fill the mouth while a vibrant mid-palate of lemon zest and marmalade leads to a fresh crisp finish with a hint of toasted oak.
Camino Africana Pinot Noir Reserve, Edgebaston is made from Pinot Noir clone 667 planted over two decades ago as an experimental block.
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
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.
The Saboteur Red Blend is dark, garnet and full colour to the edge. Black and red fruit, fynbos, garrigue scrubland, all spice and a hint of toasty wood. Overall quite perfumed Dark juicy fruit on entry. Broad, spicy cherries and red fruit which gives a feeling of freshness on the mid palate. Finish is dry and firm with balanced tannins.
Fairview Paarl \"La Beryl Blanc\" has intense tropical fruit followed by delicate noted of soft spice and hints of jasmine blossom on the nose. Lychee and tropical fruit linger on the palate. The mouth feel is rich and fruity yet well balanced, with refreshing acidity.
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.
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.
Tokara Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon displays a stunning deep garnet colour with a vibrant ruby red rim. The aromas are that of pure Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon. Packed with dark berries, cocoa powder with hints of dried herbs, eucalyptus and Chinese five spice. The palate is full texture and sweet fruit. Toasted oak and vanilla. This leads to a dry spice lingering finish.