Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Batting 3/3 on the Recommended list of South African wines, trying another from a different appellation didn’t require much hesitation.  The Boekenhoutskloof winery is located in the Coastal Region and are trying to give their French counterparts a run for their money.

Exploring the winery’s website, I’m pleased to see that they and their neighbors are actively engaging in concentrated conservation efforts aimed at removing alien and invasive species of plants.  They have discovered a species of plant unique to the area and are propagating it throughout the property. Also in their book of tricks, the winery is contributing to a PhD student’s studies of the Crested Porcupine – the namesake of this chosen vino.

This densely red vino has a spicy nose of primarily cracked peppercorns and anise. Even though its a whopping 14.5%alc/vol, this is barely noticeable.  The mouth-feel is rather full-bodied with flavors of ripe black cherry and mulberry. A moderately soft tannin and a smooth finish has notes of bitter cocoa and a decently integrated woodiness.

For dinner, I had concocted a bacon-wrapped inside-round roast of beef served au jus with roasted potatoes/carrots/turnip.  Even my non-vino dinner partner was pleasantly surprised at how well this vino paired with the beef.

Another winner from South Africa making it 4/4!  LCBO ~$15/btl

Jou goeie gesondheid!



**image credit – – image linked to – republished under fair use provisions for review and critique. claims no ownership.

**image credit – The Crested Porcupine via Flickr.  Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful photography.

Ok, so I’m on a South African binge.  Last review was not too bad from the Stellenboch region of the Western Cape. (The only other viticultural region is the Northern Cape).  Only my third bottle of South African wine, I’m actually sort of liking its unique characteristics. This Nederburg Cab is from the adjacent appellation of “Paarl”.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

Very forward with the alcohol, it took a number of whiffs to finally detect a few essences of black fruits, a faint touch of licorice and some cedar. Concluding I was tasting a Cab was easy.  Dense and full-bodied on the palate, the flavors are earthy and spicy through the nose.  The finish is somewhat powdery; a woodiness that tastes of sappiness.  I’m thinking this hasn’t seen any oak at all even as sources say it has seen twelve months “in wood”.  Taking off the blindfold, it was interesting to note the deep purple hue – not at all like a ruby I’m accustomed to see in a Cab.

Though only marginally recommended, this vino could do with some proper oaking to better heighten the varietal characteristics most of us appreciate in a good Cabernet.  (LCBO ~$11/btl)  In this price range, there are other South African Cabs on the shelf I’d be more excited to try.



**image credit – Snooth.  Image re-posted from this source to coordinate with my excerpt review.

I’m not a huge consumer of South African wine.  I’ve only had one bottle, Two Oceans Chardonnay 2009,  in the last couple years and it was tasty enough to actually recommend.

Considered a ‘cool climate’ region, most of the Western Cape of South Africa has some form of viticulture.  The history behind this wine dates back to the late 1600s when, like in South America, French vineyard workers fled the country with rootstock that had been unaffected by The Blight to prevent hybridization with North American vines.  The Malan family has been refining their wine-making skills since then.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

At first, I thought this was a Pinot Grigio, the herbaceous scents of green grass and dandelion.  On sipping, I knew I had a Sauv Blanc by its crisp acidity, medium-light mouth-feel and flavors of tangy lime.  The finish turned slightly sour but not entirely unpleasant.

“Where’s this from?” I think to myself.  Aha! “New Zealand!” I proclaim.  “Nope! Try again.” the vino-friend laughs.   I taste carefully, rolling the wine over and around my tongue…  “Can’t be Australia, so I’ll say South Africa.”

Ok, so all things considered, I got the hemisphere correct, the variety correct after the second guess, so methinks I still need some practice blind-tasting.  Between the two of us over a game of Scrabble, we polished off this ~$13/btl bottle.

Not too bad at all.




**image credit – the winery.  published under Fair Use Provisions for review and critique

The Bergkelder Winery outside of Stellenbosch has recently been a star up-and-comer in the budget-priced range of expressive wines from South Africa.  Their Two Oceans Chardonnay 2009 is probably one of the better ones I’ve tried.

Chilled in the fridge for about 4 hours, I unscrewed the cap and poured some of this pale gold Chard into a large chilled glass and gave it a swirl.  Its 14% alcohol didn’t produce much legging, so I was interested. A slow and careful inhale brought scents of honey and citrus to the nose. For it being so lightly-colored, I was expecting a wishy-washy spritzich mouth-feel.  Instead, I am treated to a medium-full bodied tartness filled with oranges, lemons and grapefruits and a smooth vanilla finish.  The pleasantly light oakiness is rewarding for a wine so light in appearance.

I really enjoyed this with my dinner tonight of grilled chicken breast marinated in garlic chipotle. Ooo!  A whole trout stuffed with lemon slices and sprigs of rosemary wrapped in foil and roasted on the barbecue would be awesome too!  *drool

Two Oceans Chardonnay 2009.  Jou goeie gesondheid!