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(2024) There's 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc in the blend here, which spent 18 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. It is Fairtrade accredited meaning farm workers receive a fair wage and good living conditions. Darkly hued in colour and aroma, plum and clove-spiced, it has an almost mulled wine-like character. A little touch of olive. In the mouth there's plenty of sweet bramble and blackcurrant fruit. I's a savoury wine this, the oak adding and earthy and charry background, but the acidity is fresh and the tannins add a rustic grip that gives it more savoury and food-friendly appeal.      
(2023) "This is Grenache where it touches Pinot Noir," says Ken and he has a point. Certainly the fruit is firmly in the red spectrum, with nutty fragrant oak, the palate so delightfully sweet and yet savoury with an orange bite of acidity. No UK stockist for this wine at time of review.
(2023) Vergelegen is an historic estate where long-time winemaker André van Rensburg was almost totally focused on Bordeaux-style wines, red and white. André may have retired, but this is a classic blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, plus components of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Part wild-fermented, it was matured in 20% new French oak for more than 18 months. The nose offers a lovely medley of black fruit, cedar and spice, classic in style with just a touch of violet or kirsch lift. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and has very good mid-palate fruit. Tannins add a grippy edge and the fresh acid nicely counteracts the 14% alcohol to leave a balanced, long wine with a sense of precision. Very good value at Majestic's mix six price of £10.99. This should cellar for a few years too. Watch the video for more information.
(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.
Displaying results 0 - 10 of 12