** IN STOCK THURS 1st OCTOBER **
Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).
Among the long rolling south-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch winelands, caressed by cool coastal breezes, lies the boutique winery and vineyard, Journey’s End. With only a handful of premium, hand-crafted wines produced here, the focus is very much on quality. In 1995 the Gabb family (originally from Shropshire, UK) took control of this picturesque wine farm surrounded by 20 ha of gorgeous vineyards. They have invested heavily in both the vineyards and the winery – with the estate growing to 120 ha by July 2011. The Gabbs are entirely committed to being environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Those behind Journey’s End have a keen eye on the sustainable and ethical production of their premium wine. There is a tangible and deep respect for the environment, clearly apparent in farming practices that are integrated as closely to nature as is possible. Journey’s End converted to solar power in 2014. The farm became fully Fairtrade certified from April 2017.
This wine, the Cape Doctor, is only produced in the most exceptional years.
The Cape Doctor is the local name for the strong south-eastern wind that blows from False Bay and funnels through to Cape Town and Blouberg. The Doctor works his magic by blowing away smog and impurities, clearing the skies and making way for some fresh sea air.
Because it can play havoc with the vines at flowering, it is often cited as a negative factor for winemakers. At Journey’s End, though, it has a beneficial effect of long ripening periods for the grapes, which produces concentrated berries with fantastically firm acidity. It also minimises the risk of any fungal diseases on the vines.
39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec (NB: this is a marked shift from the 2014, which was 100% Cab Sauv).
To see an excellent (albeit iffily-formatted) information/tech sheet, produced by the team at Journey's End, please click on the blue link below.
Deep fruitcake richness on the nose, cinnamon and nutmeg spices, followed by a perfectly balanced, silky smooth, streamlined body. Misleadingly accessible, despite the current appeal, there is enough underlying power for a long future ahead.
ABV = 14.5%.
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).
Founded in 1989, multi-award winning Mulderbosch Vineyards is one of South Africa’s foremost wine producers. As advocates to the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) code, they manage their vineyards limiting the use of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. They use a restrained approach in the cellar to produce distinctive and characterful wines that represent the Stellenbosch terroir. Chenin Blanc is the Cape’s signature variety and they have the largest planting of this variety in the world. In 1996, Mulderbosch was one of the very first producers in the Cape to ferment Chenin Blanc in barriques. The resultant wine garnered an avid following and Mulderbosch has since become synonymous with the variety.
The Faithful Hound is a blend of five varieties; all are estate grown grapes except the Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon which come from neighbouring vineyards carefully chosen for their consistency and quality. All vines are trellised, using Vertical Shoot Positioning and moveable foliage wires. The basic geological structure is decomposed granite, with soils comprising varying levels of gravelly clay. Leaf removal at an early stage of the grape's life generally ensure the pyrazine or ‘green’ flavours often encountered in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are avoided. Moderate cropping levels of between eight to 12 tonnes provide the vines with a natural load that encourages slower accumulation of grape sugars and thus allows for riper flavours at lower Brix levels. Mechanical under vine weeding takes place as herbicides are no longer used at Mulderbosch.
2016 saw a hot and dry growing season, which reduced disease pressure in the vineyard and resulted in excellent concentration in the fruit.
The grapes were meticulously sorted prior to being destemmed. The fermentation process was initiated by naturally occurring yeast, and finished by a selected strain, added during the course of fermentation. Gentle extraction and long maceration time are the hallmarks of the winemaking style, followed by barrel maturation. The wine spent 16 months in French oak barriques, of which 30% were new and the remainder in 2nd- and 3rd-fill.
Cabernet Sauvignon 33%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Merlot 19%, Malbec 17% and Petit Verdot 11%.
Beautifully textured, the fleshy ripe fruit is balanced by an smoky, savoury character showing pronounced cassis, dried figs, dates together with hints of clove and chocolate. Classically styled, pronounced cassis is followed by dried figs, dates, hints of clove and notes of forest floor on this complex bouquet. Underpinned by serious structure, the fleshy ripe fruit finds balance with an earthy, savoury character. A poised and elegant wine. Perfect with grilled steak and charred tomato salsa.
ABV = 13.5%.
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.
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%.
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 Runner 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. No sulphur is added to this wine.
For this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
A pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, with bright blackcurrant fruit characters and a touch of fresh raspberry. Medium-bodied and silky smooth.
ABV = 13.0%.