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Gabrielskloof Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage of this wine was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article (see blue link below). The 2015 is no longer available at the UK importer; we highly recommend this equally excellent 2016 vintage.

Gabriëlskloof, The Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

Gabriëlskloof is a beautiful wine estate located near Bot River in the Overberg region east of Cape Town. It was purchased in 2001 by Bernhard Heyns, who had been on the lookout for the ideal place to plant vines. After planting, his first vintage was in 2009. We felt compelled to add Gabriëlskloof to our list because Peter-Allan Finlayson, Bernhard’s son-in-law, took over as winemaker from the 2015 vintage. The farm has 300 hectares, with 68 hectares planted to vines. The vineyards are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future.

Gabriëlskloof winery is in the Bot River ward, where prevailing southerly winds from the nearby Atlantic Ocean create a mesoclimate perfectly suited to low-yielding vineyards. The farm and vineyards were established in 2000, with the first vintage made in the cellar in 2009. Gabriëlskloof strives to farm as sustainably as possible, and was recently awarded Championship status for BWI (Biodiversity in wine). There are a variety of different soils on the farm, with the Cabernet Franc being planted on a combination of Bokkeveld Shale and Table Mountain Sandstone.

2016 was a very dry vintage, which led to a smaller crop but the vines were healthy and produced concentrated fruit.

The fruit was hand-picked into small crates and transferred directly into the cool room where it remained overnight. 90% of the crop was destemmed with the remaining 10% left as whole clusters. The wine was fermented with wild yeasts and aged in 500 litre barrels for 18 months, with 30% new French oak used. 

100% Cabernet Franc.

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.

ABV = 14.0%.

£27.50

Goats Do Roam Red 2018 (1x75cl)

Charles Back, the owner of Fairview, is also the man behind Goats do Roam, which was launched in 1999. Goats do Roam is rare in that it is an amusing and original proposition allied to wines of good quality and value for money. Normally, these 'concept' wines put more money into marketing than into quality but, characteristically, Charles has done the opposite. The fruit for Goats is sourced primarily from Paarl, Malmesbury and Paardeberg. The 'legend' goes that some errant members of Fairview's long established goat herd, supplier of milk for Fairview's internationally award-winning cheeses, escaped one afternoon from their paddock into the Fairview vineyards when Charles Back's young son Jason accidentally left the paddock gate open. The little group happily roamed among the vineyards, showing rare discernment by selecting some of the ripest berries from some of the choicest vines. Their selection serves as the inspiration for the blends of these wines.

This 100% Fairtrade multi-varietal blend comes from vineyards across South Africa's Western Cape. The Shiraz is soucred from trellised vineyards in the Paarl, Stellenbosch and Swartland regions, the Grenache from Piekenierskloof, Paarl and Swartland, the Carignan and Mourvèdre primarily from dryland bushvines in the Swartland and the Petite Sirah from the decomposed granite soils of Paarl.

The 2018 vintage was the third year in the current drought cycle in the region. During the 2017 winter there was below average rainfall followed by a mild spring and hot summer. The grape crop was healthy, but smaller than average and the grapes and bunches were smaller in size resulting in very concentrated juice and wine.

The grapes were destalked and lightly crushed into stainless steel tanks, with each grape variety fermented separately. The must was inoculated with Rhône yeasts and pump-overs were done up to four times a day during fermentation. After alcoholic fermentation, the wines were racked to tanks and barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine was then matured in both tanks and barrels prior to blending, stabilization and bottling.

59% Syrah/Shiraz, 16% Grenache/Garnacha, 14% Mourvèdre, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Tempranillo, 2% Cinsault.

Bright ruby in colour, this wine shows blackcurrant, plum and spice on the nose. Medium bodied with firm tannins, the youthful palate has generous berry fruit and hints of vanilla spice from the oak.

ABV = 13.5%.

£10.10

Ken Forrester (Pats Garden) Merlot Reserve 2017 (1x75cl)

Click here for a one-minute intro video to - and tasting note for - the (Pat's Garden) Merlot Reserve from Ken Forrester himself (in classic Ken fashion).

Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa's most famous wine region Stellenbosch, Ken Forrester's vineyards are commonly referred to as the home of Chenin Blanc and other premium award-winning wines. Over the years, this range of top quality wines has received massive national and international acclaim with literally hundreds of awards and accolades. The wines are broadly available in reputable restaurants and exported around the globe. Ken Forrester’s philosophy has always been to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value.

The Forrester easy-drinking, Reserve-level Merlot. Supremely quaffable and likeable. 

91% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc.

Hand harvested in individual parcels and selected for quality to get the ripest possible, balanced Merlot from the best soils, influenced by the cool SE wind during the ripening season.

The wine was matured in selected French oak barrels for 12 months and blended with a small fraction of Cabernet Franc for structure and complexity prior to bottling.

Black fruit flavoirs all the way. Hints of cherries and mint with meat-spice and smoky undertones. Softly rounded and accessible wine with balanced tannins for early drinking. Best served with meat dishes, grills and roast lamb.

See also our Ken Forrester tasting blog for details of this wine in action.

ABV = 14.5%.

£13.50

Ken Forrester The Gypsy Shiraz Grenache 2014 (1x75cl)

Click here for a one-minute intro video to - and tasting note for - The Gypsy from Ken Forrester himself (in classic Ken fashion).

Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa's most famous wine region Stellenbosch, Ken Forrester's vineyards are commonly referred to as the home of Chenin Blanc and other premium award-winning wines. Over the years, this range of top quality wines has received massive national and international acclaim with literally hundreds of awards and accolades. The wines are broadly available in reputable restaurants and exported around the globe. Ken Forrester’s philosophy has always been to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value.

This is the Forrester red equivalent of the iconic FMC Chenin: a stunning New World, red Rhone blend.

63% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre, being a hand-picked selection of the finest and ripest fruit.

Cool-soaked prior to fermentation, then taken to new French oak barrels for 12 months. At this point a further selection takes place before blending and the final blend goes back to new barrels to marry and harmonise over the following 12 months. After almost 2 years languishing in a cool cellar the Gypsy is stable with the oak and intense fruit totally harmonised. A very concentrated, focussed blend, with layers of deep fruit.

The character is somewhat 'wild' a little brambly with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, dark spices, with vanilla scents and a distinct, concentrated red-fruit focus. Great for laying down and keeping for at least ten years but already rewarding if allowed to breathe in a decanter.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Ken.

Ken Forrester The Gypsy Shiraz Grenache 2014 - fiche technique

See also our Ken Forrester tasting blog for details of this wine in action.

ABV = 14.0%.

£28.60

Ken Forrester The Renegade Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2016 (1x75cl)

Click here for a one-minute intro video to - and tasting note for - the Renegade from Ken Forrester himself (in classic Ken fashion).

Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa's most famous wine region Stellenbosch, Ken Forrester's vineyards are commonly referred to as the home of Chenin Blanc and other premium award-winning wines. Over the years, this range of top quality wines has received massive national and international acclaim with literally hundreds of awards and accolades. The wines are broadly available in reputable restaurants and exported around the globe. Ken Forrester’s philosophy has always been to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value.

One of the very first Rhône-style blends in South Africa. 

37% Shiraz, 32% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre. 

From duplex soils, fine sandy loam on a clay base and fermented in open tanks with gentle extraction by pumping over and then pressed and racked into second- and third-fill French oak barrels for 18 months. This adds complexity and structure to the soft natural tannins.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Ken.

Ken Forrester The Renegade Shiraz Grenache 2016 - fiche technique

This elegant Rhône blend displays Old World Style with New World fruit. Hint of Grenache’s earthy rusticity and Shiraz’s noble spice with hints of nutmeg and salty black olive on the finish. Balanced with soft integrated tannins.

See also our Ken Forrester tasting blog for details of this wine in action.

ABV = 14.0%

£12.80

Klein Constantia Anwilka 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article (see blue link below)

Anwilka 2014 - February 2019 Decanter review

Anwilka Vineyards is located just 7 kilometres from the ocean in Stellenbosch’s prime Helderberg region. The property was purchased in the late 1990s and extensive replanting of 40ha of vineyards comprising primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and some Merlot followed. The then owners, Lowell Jooste (the former co-owner of Klein Constantia) along with internationally well known Bordeaux wine personalities Hubert de Boüard (co-owner of Chateau Angélus in Saint Emilion) and Bruno Prats (former owner of Chateau Cos d’Estournel in Saint Estèphe) released the eponymous maiden vintage blend of Syrah-Cabernet in 2005. Anwilka has since established a worldwide reputation for this red blend which has been described by Robert Parker as “the finest red wine I have ever had from South Africa”.

The vineyards are run by manager Piet Neethling and the wine made by young South African oenologist Jean du Plessis. Much guidance is provided by owner Bruno Prats, who successfully directed Cos d’Estournel, the leading Médoc 2nd growth, for 28 years and Hubert de Boüard who steered Angélus to achieve St-Émilion first-growth status. Anwilka does not have fences so animals can move around freely. With the recent developments and fencing being put up on neighbours’ properties, Anwilka has become a haven for all these animals, particularly owls and bats which help in the vineyards to guard against pests and vine damage.

52% Syrah, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot.

To read Anwilka's own excellent and informative information on this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Anwilka 2014 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.95

Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

Set in the heart of the mountain-ringed Robertson Valley in the Western Cape of South Africa, Springfield Estate is a family-run wine farm owned by ninth-generation descendants of French Huguenots, who went to South Africa from the Loire in 1688 with bundles of vines under their arms. The present generation to tend the rocky Springfield soils are brother-and-sister team Abrie and Jeanette Bruwer. The Springfield philosophy is to produce wine as naturally as possible. The winemaking process is kept direct and uncomplicated – the wine is left to make itself, as was done centuries ago. This allows for an honest expression of the estate’s terroir.

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

To see an excellent information note and tasting sheet on this wine from the team at Springfield, please click on the blue link below.

Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 - fiche technique

The 2017 vintage is full of juicy fruit – red plums, cherries and black berries, with notes of earth, cedar and tobacco to round it off. Tannins are velvety smooth and leave you with a mouthwatering finish. This traditional wine is unfiltered and unfined, which may deposit sediment and might require decanting.

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.95

Stellar Organics Running Duck Cabernet Sauvignon No Added Sulphur 2019 (1x75cl)

A pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, with bright blackcurrant fruit characters and a touch of fresh raspberry. Medium-bodied and silky smooth.

£8.85

Mooiplaas Wine Estate The Bean Coffee Pinotage 2018 (1x75cl)

Mooiplaas Wine Estate and Private Nature Reserve is situated among the majestic mountains and fertile valleys in the Stellenbosch Winelands, approximately 40km east of Cape Town. Mooiplaas is a historic and traditional working wine farm. Here Tielman and Louis Roos produce a range of environmentally friendly wines rooted in tradition and artisan techniques that make the most of the unique terroir.

When it comes to winemaking, cellar master, Louis Roos, is a true purist. He uses a range of classic and traditional winemaking processes to produce the Mooiplaas wines, such as wild yeast, natural fermentation, light filtration and maturation in small oak barrels. “To produce premium wines you have to follow the ‘classic’ approach,” says Louis. “Use the best grapes from the best vineyards with minimal interference during the winemaking process. That will give you wines that are distinctive and expressive of place and vintage.” At Mooiplaas they believe that wine should be authentic, elegant, well balanced and structured while showing its vibrance and fullness of flavour. It must add joy to life!

Please click on the blue link below to see the winemakers notes on this wine.

Mooiplaas Wine Estate 'The Bean' Coffee Pinotage 2017 - fiche technique

£10.50

Radford Dale Nudity 2014 - No added sulphites (1x75cl)

Radford Dale was founded in 1998 when Ben Radford and Alex Dale first made wines together. They believe in combining innovation with a healthy respect for tradition. In other words, their approach is old plus new, and the best of both worlds. They specialise in the mountainous viticultural sub-regions of the Helderberg area in Stellenbosch, Elgin, and the Perderberg area in the Swartland. This is a fancy way of saying that they work with grapes from all of these areas – the right grapes for the right wines (rather than growing all the fruit on their own property). 

A first for Radford Dale, this “Zero Sulphite” Syrah represents the culmination of everything we have learnt over many years about natural viticulture and non-interventionist winemaking. By leaving every process in the capable hands of Mother Nature, we produce a wine which reflects every aspect of its origin, the variety and the vintage, in as clear a manner as is possible. Free of any additions or treatments, it is undressed and totally natural. The result is a wonderfully expressive, complex and elegant wine. The nose beams dark red fruits, complex spice and fynbos aromas. Layers of red and black fruit, over a strong graphite note and super supple tannins make for a fantastically engaging palate. The wine leaves one with a clean, fresh and wholesome impression. Could this be the naked truth…?

A wonderfully expressive, complex and elegant wine. The nose beams dark red fruits, and intriguing herbal aromas. With pure and weightless intensity of fruit, as well as graphite like minerality, the palate delights before leading into a fresh and wholesome finish.

ABV = 12.0%.

£20.30

Stellar Organics Running Duck Shiraz 2018 (1x75cl)

The Running Duck range is made by Stellar Organics – the pioneer winery from Western South Africa. The wines are certified organic and have also been made according to “Fair for life” guidelines. This social & fair trade certification ensures that human rights are guaranteed at any stage of production, that workers enjoy good and fair working conditions and that smallholder farmers receive a fair price.

The brand is named after the Indian Runners ducks sent roaming into the vineyards to eat snails and other threats to the vines. This is natural pest control and allows the winery not to use pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

This wine has blackberries, black pepper mixed with jasmine and spice on the nose, whilst the palate has flavours of stewed stone fruits, fruitcake and spices ending on a savoury note with a hint of white pepper and integrated tannins.

ABV = 14.0%.

£8.60
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