Best Wines Of The World South Africa
Once a booming brandy producer, within the past 10 years South Africa has shifted focus to producing many high quality red and white wines. Now accessible worldwide, South African wines are valued for their sophistication and likeness to French Rhône Valley blends. Most famous of the grape growing areas in South Africa is the Western Cape, concentrated in the southernmost part of the country and surrounded in the west by the Atlantic Ocean and in the south by the Indian Ocean. Here along the coast, you can find namesake cities such as Stellenbosch, where some of the best wines in the country are made. The most widely planted grape varietal is Chenin Blanc, a homage to South Africa’s fortified wine history. Known as “Steen” in South Africa, this grape has found a second home along its coast. Appreciated for its vibrant acidity and fruit-forward palate, Chenin Blanc is a new alternative to unoaked chardonnay. Meant to be enjoyed young, Chenin Blanc exhibits peachy and floral notes that comingle beautifully with delicate mineral hints. As for reds, Syrah has recently risen to prominence in South Africa, now a major producer of some of the finest examples of the grape in the world. Despite having a warmer climate than the Northern Rhône, South Africa manages to produce very similar wines to those of the famous French valley. Displaying a smoky and peppery spice balanced by plum and blackberry notes, South African Syrah can easily compete with high-quality French wines. Full bodied and packed with flavor, Syrah will be a wine lover top pick for a long time to come.
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Cloof Wine Estate – Crucible Cloof Shiraz 2014
South Africa – Red
Very dense and dark core. Intense nose, pure with floral notes, violet, lavender, fresh meat, pepper and discreet wood. The palate has good density, moderate tannin, floral dark fruit, a slight sensation of sweetness, pure dark fruit, and crushed blackberry with mild spiciness. A long nuanced finish, both power and nuance here, fine potential.
Ken Forrester – Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016
South Africa – Stellenbosch – Helderberg – White
Young bright straw colour. Fresh and pure nose, no oak, primary fruit, apple, pear and citrus. Light palate with fresh almond, citrus and crushed pear notes, and a medium long and crisp finish.
Lourensford Wine Estate – Shiraz 2015
South Africa – Stellenbosch – Red
Very dark and inky colour. Pure and intense nose of ginger bread, dark berries, roasted oak and violet. The palate is dense and full, still a bit on the young side. Modern and fleshy with some meaty notes, blackberry and plum flavours, and ripe but dense tannin. Long and warm finish.
Radford Dale – The Renaissance Of Chenin Blanc 2015
South Africa – Stellenbosch – White
Bright light golden colour. Young but intense nose showing some smoky and flinty notes with yellow fruit, crushed nuts and a hint of wood. The palate has a good bite and vital freshness a bit more than medium bodied with good flavour intensity and purity, discreet wood and a long stony finish. Very promising.
Ken Forester Vineyards – The Gypsy 2012
South Africa – Western Cape – Red
Medium deep ruby colour with some evolution. Also the nose shows some evolution and complexity blending red and dark fruit, fine oak, leather and smoked meat with gingerbread spices. The palate is fairly dense but with rounded texture, nuanced Rhône style with tobacco, spice and juicy red fruit and a long vibrant finish. Digest and complex.
Waverley Hills – VSC 2014
South Africa – White
Quite intense medium golden colour. Pure nose with low oak and intense yellow fruit, some stony notes, saffron almond and butter. The palate has a dense structure, creamy texture with a fresh backbone, some notes of wild herbs, ripe citrus and yellow fruit, perhaps a dash of oak on the finish. Nonetheless, good depth and harmony with a very long and bold finish, backed by a vibrant acidity. Surely a blend but I don’t really know what.
Cloof Wine Estate – Cloof Syrah 2013
South Africa – Red
Medium to deep ruby red. Generous nose with allspice, gingerbread, dark berries and some floral hints. Medium weight on the palate with a fresh backbone, polished and grainy tannin, spicy and meaty notes with fresh dark berries and a long, fresh finish. Digest and finely spicy.