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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, \"Terra de Bron\" Swartland Carignan is layered with red fruits and backed by spicy flavour on the nose. It is medium-bodied with subtle notes of smoky and cured meat, making it an ideal food wine.
Klein Constantia Estate Metis Sauvignon Blanc is bright and light in appearance with fresh citrus aromas. The wine has a round and expressive palate, full and grippy with fruity and zesty acidity. It finishes with a long burst of mineral and lime flavours.
Klein Constantia Estate Chardonnay has a fresh and light toastiness on the nose with butterscotch and nutmeg aromas. Medium-bodied with an elegant structure, the wine has a flintiness with a balanced acidity that leads to a long fruity finish.
Post House Missing Virgin (Pinotage, Petit Verdot) is a step away from the traditional style of Pinotage. It is generous in its fruit profile, with focus and length on the finish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Klein Constantia Estate Red has intense red and black fruit with elegant notes of cinnamon spice on the nose. The palate is full-bodied and savoury with a well integrated oak component from barrel ageing. Ending with a long, rich and fruit driven finish.
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.
Crystallum \"The Agnes\" Chardonnay has a yellow gold colour with a nose that is wonderfully expressive, with notes of lime, grapefruit, nectarine and ripe peach. The palate is intense and layered with a strong fruit core and lovely fresh acidity.
Camino Africana Single Vineyard Old Vine Chenin Blanc has an unmistakable minerality and the Salty, Umami flavour on the palate that can only be found when vines have struggled for decades to make their mark in the soil. This wine signifies something truly special to me as a winemaker and is part of my journey in life and wine in South Africa, hence the name, Camino Africana, “The African Way”
Crystallum \"Peter Max\" Pinot Noir is a wonderfully elegant and perfumed Pinot Noir. The nose is floral and very fragrant, with strawberry and soft spice very dominant. The palate offers plenty of fruit and texture, while maintaining a tasty vibrancy and freshness.
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.
Gabrielskloof Bot River Syrah on Shale has a deep red colour in the glass with purple glints. Lots of dark, rich fruit on the nose, including blackberries, blackcurrents and plums. The palate is full-bodied with good minerality and supple tannins, very juicy because of the dark fruit. The finish follows with vanilla flavours and is very long lasting.
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.