Continuing my S Africa explorations!

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Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:02 am

WTN: 2011 Badenhorst Secateurs Red, Swartland.

Not a great deal of interest in SA on this forum but I continued to be impressed with the vastly improved selection downtown. Hein and Adi are reported to be turning out some great wines (look for the Secateurs White I am told).

SC, $22 Cdn, 13.5% alc, 43% Shiraz, 43% Cinsault, 8% Grenache, 3% Mourvedre and 3% Pinotage. Was advised that is ready to drink now, did not decant.

Light garnet colour, nose has spice, some smoke, raspberry, and a hint of perfume. Thought it needed a tad more expression however.

Initial entry thought was smooth, soft tannins, medium-bodied. Not anyway close to a fruit bomb but nice structure. "Redcurrant" from across the table, cherry on day 2 and still very drinkable. Good all-round balance here, hard to pinpoint SA though but in a way this red illustrates the progress being made in SA. Buy more for sure!
Last edited by Bob Parsons Alberta on Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Dan Smothergill » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:16 pm

Here's another fan of SA, particularly the Chenin Blancs. More and more are available here all the time, mostly in the lower price range. They are good and have whetted my appetite for better ones that are advertised but have yet to show up much on the shelves.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Clint Hall » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:52 am

Bob, I understand your enthusiasm about South Africa a lot better now that I've received this month's issue of the Wine Advocate and Neal Martin's piece on the "Ten [South African] Producers You Need to Know."
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:15 am

Thanks Dan and Clint. Another Chenin Blanc from Rudera has shown up downtown so will try this weekend..and under $20 Cdn too.
I would love to check out the WA piece but guess I would have to re-subscribe :( .
Clint, could you list some of the names for me?
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Tim York » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:43 am

Hi Bob,

Frustratingly we don't see many South African wines here in mainstream wine shops. There's one shop in a busy part of Brussels, which specialises in non-French wine and has a few good ones, and one or two specialist importers in Flanders.

It will be even more difficult when we move to Normandy to find non-French wines, though I was surprised to find an Italian wine and delicatessen shop just off the main street in small town, Pont-Audemer,where we were visiting estate agents. However, I suspect that is just about as exotic as it gets.

I'm tempted to stock up on non-French wines before we move but storage is going to be a problem in the new house. This thought reminds me to post a thread asking for advice on insulation, etc.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Clint Hall » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:20 pm

Bob, here are the ten South African wineries featured in this month's Wine Advocate, the "Ten Producers You Need to Know."

Alheit Vineyards
Crystallum
De Morgenzon
Eagle's Nest
Keermont Vineyards
Klein Constantia
Lammershoek
Miles Mossop
Mullineux Family Wines
Savage Wines

Some time ago in a posting on Squires, Parker wrote that the 2005 Anwilka Stellenbosch, a Cab-Syrah blend, was "the finest red wine I have ever had from South Africa." I made a note of that, and when Garagiste offered it severa months later I ordered a half case and later drank the first bottle in March this year. It needed lots of air and was better on the second day. If anyone has tasted the wine more recently, I'd like to know how it's drinking now. I have no idea how these things age, although the label indicates its an ager.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:24 pm

Thanks for the list Clint, great to see Mullineux up there. Lots of flag waving on the UK forum too. Think De Morgenzon is in town somewhere?
Spotted a new CB from Rudera, the Lula label so will give it a crack asap.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:29 pm

Dan Smothergill wrote:Here's another fan of SA, particularly the Chenin Blancs. More and more are available here all the time, mostly in the lower price range. They are good and have whetted my appetite for better ones that are advertised but have yet to show up much on the shelves.


Dan, how about Chambers Street?
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Dan Smothergill » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:55 pm

I'm in Syracuse Bob, quite a ways from Chambers St. I looked at their web site today and saw just a couple of South Africans. The "shelves" I see extend from here to Rochester and Ithaca, occasionally Buffalo. We've actually got a pretty good selection in the overall area.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Richard Fadeley » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:32 pm

Somehow this interesting Merlot ('11 Fleur de Cap Merlot) missed making my article on SA wines ( http://www.wineloverspage.com/webwinema ... 0913.phtml ) but I found it to be a great QPR wine @ about $12 US. Worth seeking out if it available in your market.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:29 pm

Richard, funny you should mention a merlot as I have just picked up one from Rudera (their Lula label). Also grabbed the Chenin Blanc so stay tuned. Both around $16 Cdn :D .
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby John S » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:16 am

Hi Bob, BC has really been increasing their list of SA wines lately - in the last year or so. They have stayed with the fairly large, pedestrian producers that create quaffers, unfortunately, but there are some nice wines available. Conde-Starke makes very good reds, for example, and the Bellingham Bernard Series Chenin Blanc is quite good. Maybe they are available in AB too?

I've been lucky enough to have visited SA twice, and spent from 5-10 days in several wine regions on each trip. There really is some great wine being made now, but - as in many countries - most of the good stuff doesn't find its way to Canada. The strides they have made in the last 10-15 years has really been something to see (and taste!).
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:26 am

Heyho John. No sign of Conde-Stark but we do have the Bellingham Old Vine CB. Can I ask if you have access to Mullineux in BC?
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby John S » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:04 pm

No Mullineux, unfortunately.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:09 am

I have to admit that the chance of me buying a merlot would be minimal but staff downtown thought I should try this one as I am a Rudera fan. Lula is a newish label for them and how could I refuse this $15 value! Good heads up from the staff at the store for sure, there is also a Chenin Blanc lined up :D .

WTN: 2012 Lula Merlot Western Cape SA.

Good natural cork, did not show the 15.5% alc, $15 Cdn, nice looking package.
Plum and red berries on the nose. Initial entry thought is ripe fruit but not jammy. Have to wonder if this has seen any oak?
Cassis, black cherry, fair acidity, opened up after an hour and still good on day 2 but no evolvement. Plums, some earth, great wine for those looking for something under 20 bucks.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:19 pm

Following up on the Luuuula (!) merlot, lets have a look at their Chenin Blanc.

WTN: 2012 Lula Chenin Blanc Western Cape.

Have to say right off the bat that mother company Rudera produces some of the best CB out there so I was interested to try the Lula. Turned out to be just an OK wine but might need some time in the bottle to develope further?

Colour is a pale lemon. Tart apple on the nose with some typical wet wool tones. Nothing really stands out here, and even on day 2 no real development.
Initial entry thought is again tart apple but wine lacks real CB personality. Finish does lengthen with some air but still off-dry and not a lot of ripe fruit period. Some pineapple, lemon, hint of pear.
This wine is quite similar to the Spier I posted on a while back but that wine had more character overall.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:55 am

John S wrote:No Mullineux, unfortunately.


That is a pity John, anyhow how about Boekenhoutskloof? Think good distribution in BC, hopefully the higher end wines. Here is an entry level white, the Wolftrap.

WTN: 2012 Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap White, Western Cape.

Blend of Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc. $18 Cdn, served quite chilled with turkey scallopini and cranberry glaze.

Light straw yellow, floral nose with peach, melon and pear. Think the viognier is a big plus here. "Think this has seen some oak" from across the table.
Hints of residual sugar on entry, firm acidity, good length. Mainly tart at first and some citrus but some tropical fruits show by the second glass, nutty too. Good value and nice intro to SA.
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby David N » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:03 am

A few other names , available in BC (either BCLDB or Marquis Wines or direct from the agent) :
Eben Sadie Palladius and Columella - high end
Springfontein Sauvignon Blanc - middle range, Loire Valley style
Shannon Pinot Noir - mid range and great value
Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block - very good but overpriced
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay - not cheap at $45 but a very good Burgundy ringer
Colmant Brut - excellent bubbly which can almost pass for Champagne. The white is much better than the Rose
Mooiplas Rosalind - mid range Bordeaux blend
Backsberg Family Reserve - another Bordeaux blend, also mid -range

Other names to watch for, although no longer available in BC:
Vergelegen flagship wine - I have never had a less than outstanding experience with this house
Vergenoegd Estate - mid range and great value
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Re: Continuing my S Africa explorations!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:56 pm

Nice list David, agree on the H Russell Chardonnay.
Wonder why no-one hear has mentioned Pinotage? :lol:
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