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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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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.
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.
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.
Klein Constantia Estate Sauvignon Blanc is bright and inviting with a flinty nose. The palate is well integrated with flavours of gooseberries and troical fruit. Expressive with a balanced acidity, the finish is long and rich, showing a typical Klein Constantia minerality.
Klein Constantia Estate Riesling is vibrant in appearance with an aromatic and complex nose. The palate has a delicate floral and fruity entry which is balanced by a well balanced acidity. Full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, the wine tapers into a refreshing and long fruit driven finish.
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.
Merlot Barton Vineyards Walker Bay, is a dense purple colour, on the nose blackberry and dark cherry aromas with a dash of Mocha. On the palate it has outstanding freshness of rich ripe fruit with good underlying acidity and soft tannins followed by a long lingering aftertaste ,
Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Barton Vineyards Walker Bay in South Africa has concentrated berries and white pepper spiciness on the nose, palate shows dark and juicy fruit with a wooded characteristic, elegant but delicate tannin structured finish. Aged for 16 months in French Oak barrels.
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.
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.
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.
Medium to full bodied dry red with complexity and finesse
Syrah The Prospector from Jordan Winery has a complex concentration of flavours, dense rich dark chocolate, black fruit laced with flavours of white pepper and spice, toasty nuances, barrel aged,
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Klein Constantia Cap Classique Brut has a nose that displays fresh minerality and flinty expressive notes with buttery brioche characters, followed by a slight green apple and citrus aroma. The palate is focused and defined with a mineral backbone and a fine mousse.
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
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.