(2019) On a visit to Vergelegen earlier this year I was really impressed by their wines, so it's nice to feature this moderately-priced red from their range. One hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon, it spent 17 months in barrels from top French coopers, 40% new. Bottled in October 2014, even with an additional half decade of ageing it retains a tightly-wound, serious structure, the deep black fruit bound by firm, gripping tannins and decisive acidity. It's a savoury wine, to be enjoyed now and best decanted for a couple of hours, or indeed cellared for a decade more, but it delivers a rich, concentrated mouthful of bold plummy fruit, with cedar, liquorice and spice adding to the chewy density and gastronomic appeal. Watch the video for more information and note the price is a special offer - other retailers are around £17 - £20 for this wine.
(2019) All five Bordeaux varieties are in this blend, but it is mostly Shiraz and a little Pinotage. 12 months in older French oak. A bloody note to very pure plummy and a peppery, spicy fruit. Lots of concentrated black fruit and balsamic notes, loads of spice in the finish, smooth and svelte tannins and good balance.
(2019) A blend of 37% Pinotage, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Merlot and Cabernet Franc that spends 12 months in older oak. Nice solid black fruit character, a bright cherry edge and a touch of Pinotage perfume. Quite jammy and ripe, a thick fruit character, well balanced.
(2019) Like the Kadette blend, 12 months in older oak. A little meatiness, a little stripe of grippy plum skins, there is a lot of juiciness and spice on the palate, less dense than the blend, juicier, although it doesn’t have quite the oomph of the Cape Bend. A style choice for the drinker between these two.
(2019) This spends 15 months in French oak, around 10% new. 50% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Lovely nose, overflowing with fruit a little lifted volatile character, some toasty oak beneath. Silky and smooth on the palate, there is plenty of sweet red and black fruit density, a stripe of tannin and good balancing acids. Good value from independents at around £11-£12, Majestic list it at £13.99 at time of review.
(2019) Murray barlow is very enthusiastic about the future for Malbec in Stellenbosch, planting with newer clones, while admitting they are "riding on the coat-tails of Argentina." Charry oak for the first time, but quite subtle, a touch of green character and florals on the nose and a phalanx of deep, sinewy meaty blue-black fruit on the palate. Very, very juicy, tangy fruit skins and all tensioned by the structure. Exclusive to Watirose in the UK.
(2016) Stellenbosch fruit aged 22 months in barrel, 30% new. Fresh, youthful, sprightly black fruit, with cassis and a touch of chocolate. This has freshness and cherry juiciness, it's fully ripe with creamy chocolate fruit, but has some tang and really cherry fresh acidity. Maybe a touch of heat just in the finish, maybe needs a year or two.
(2016) Stellenbosch fruit aged 22 months in barrel, around 20% new. A wet vintage - not easy. Lovely nose, ripe and spicy black fruit, but has a touch of pepper and game complexity. Juicy and rounded, with a meat stock character but not overdone, gives a plushness and elegance at the same time. Note stockist quoted is for the 2010 vintage.
(2015) >From Simonsig in Stellenbosch again, 14% alcohol and this time a natural cork. There is a little bit of estery banana and floral lift to this, loads of spice and a coffeeish note over berry fruit. On the palate it is super-sweet, with a touch of leather and, for me, a tiny metallic element that is somewhere between interesting and detracting. It is rich, full, crammed with fruit, spice and chocolate, but is decisively Pinotage - and whether or not that's your 'thing' will determine how much you like it. In the end I really rather liked this.
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