Friday, February 26, 2010

South Africa 6 for $60 - last chance!

We only have a few left...they are going fast!

kybecca wine & gourmet February 6 for $60 – Great Finds From South Africa
South Africa, especially the coastal parts, has an ideal climate for growing grapes. Not too hot or cold with plenty of sun, the winemaking potential for the country has been recognized since it was first colonized. Over the last twenty years production has greatly increased along with exports and today South Africa is recognized as one of the top wine producing countries in the world. Here are six wines which represent some of the various styles and grape varieties grown there.

Oracle Chardonnay – Chardonnay is a grape that seems to be grown everywhere and South Africa is no exception. The Oracle Chardonnay was fermented in stainless steel tanks and then half of it was aged in French oak barrels and then blended back together. This ensures that the wine gets some oak influence without being dominated by oak. Ripe tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and melon with creamy vanilla notes as well.

Paarl Heights Chenin Blanc– Many wine producing countries have particular grape varieties that are favored, and for South African white wines that grape is Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc seems to attain a fantastic ripeness in the South African climate. The Paarl Heights Chenin is a textbook example. Floral and citrus aromas with flavors of ripe tropical fruit and honey (without the sweetness). A very under-rated grape variety in America. Excellent with seafood.

Bradgate Chenin Blanc/Sauvignon Blanc– Sauvignon Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa and blending it with Chenin is very common. What you get are the honeyed fruit flavors of the Chenin mixed with the citrus and grassy notes from the Sauvignon. This one is made in the Stellenbosch area.

The Wolftrap – Here is a South African style field blend modeled on the blends of southern France. This one is 65% Syrah, 32% Mouvedre and 3% Viognier. Oddly, adding the Viognier actually darkens and strengthens the wine. The Wolftrap is has flavors of spicy black fruits and a full body from aging in French oak.

Kanonkop Kadette – This is what’s known as a Cape Blend, based on the Pinotage grape, a grape made and cultivated in South Africa. The Kadette is 45% Pinotage, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. Cape blends often take Bordeaux varieties and blend them with PInotage. The result is a full-bodied red with flavors of blackberries and cassis, herbal notes, and smokey notes from the PInotage.

Man Vintners Pinotage – PInotage is the South African variety. Made by a university professor, it is a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault (called Hermitage in South Africa, hence the name PInotage). Although Pinot Noir is a parent Pinotage is very different. Like the Man Vintners, it is usually medium to full bodied with flavors of dark fruits and a characteristic smokey aroma and flavor. Very good with gamey meats like Venison.

No comments: