A Good Year

A Good Year: April 2013

Monday, 29 April 2013

Wine with dinner - Cono Sur Merlot

We used a voucher from a friend to go for a sunset sail around they bay, bidding farewell to the cruise ships, and then headed to one of the more touristy restaurants on the island, Deckers, for a light snack and a drink.  It was one of my favourites restaurants with a local Caribbean band playing, very nicely decorated, 2 feet tall walls lined with tropical plants and that slightly dimmed lighting to set the mood.  You really got the fully relaxed Caribbean holiday feeling there with great food and music.  We sat at the bar and couldn't decide what to order, so the bartender offered us a taster of a Sonoma Zinfandel which I did not think was that great.  In general I find American wines lack a bit of depth, they are often the more easier drinking wines.  So we scanned the wine list and opted for a Chilean varietal instead.

My wine notes...

WINE:  Cono Sur Merlot
VINTAGE:  2007
PRICE:  $49 (KYD) (The price you pay for wanting to be a tourist for an evening)
PRODUCER:  Cono Sur, a limited edition wine this, with only 20 barrels produced
REGION & COUNTRY: Colchagua Valley, Chile
PLACE TASTED: Deckers Restaurant, Cayman Islands

APPEARANCE:  Dark and rich in colour
NOSE:  Berries, with a sharpness
TASTE:  Velvety and full bodied, a lovely hint of chocolate mocha amongst the berries
FINISH:  Quite a dry finish and defined structure in this wine
OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Very very nice wine and a great evening.
OVERALL VALUE:  3 out of 5 (It lost some points for being too pricey in the restaurant, it is actually quite reasonably priced in the store).

We actually enjoyed some of the Cono Sur Bubbly at a work function, a Wimbledon themed tennis tournament, which was most enjoyable as well.  As mentioned in a previous post we've tasted the Sauv B too which was very good.  I would definitely like to take a turn past this farm in Chile, if I am ever in the region.  Great wines!

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Friday, 26 April 2013



Nestled in the Hemel and Aarde Valley...

Sumaridge is a quiet little farm with this spectacular view.  We sat on the balcony overlooking the dam.  There are also tables inside and in the front garden on the bank of the dam.  The young tasting room host (TRH) was very friendly and informative in his knowledge of the farm's wines.   He did manage to pour a Rose tasting into a not yet empty Chardonnay glass and may have spilt a few times, but no-one minded in the least.  We were relaxing on the balcony, enjoying the view and TRH's conversation.  Next time I think we'll take a bottle or two and do our own tasting on the little bench under the trees on the other side of the dam, it looked so inviting.

My wine notes below...
I only had my phone with me for taking notes, so to avoid seeming rude I tried to keet them short and sweet.

Very very nice.  Crisp, fruity and fresh, a delicious Sav B.  We bought a few to take home!

MARITIMUS 2009 (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon)
As per our TRH, the name of this wine comes from the maritime location that Sumaridge has being so close to the ocean (you can see it in the distance above).  I thought it was an interesting blend, combining the crisp Sav B flavours with the wooded Chardonnay flavours and the Semillon just to smooth it all off.  A little bit tart for me perhaps, but enjoyable and would go well with your Mediterranean fish dishes I would think, the ones with slightly stronger flavours.

Sumaridge's flagship WHITE.  This wine had a nutty wooded nose to it.  It was a lovely smooth and light Chardonnay, not too syrupy.  A buttery sweet taste I thought.  I like their idea of pairing it with a creamy pasta - yum!

The colour of this wine is like a rose cherry syrup, like the homemade ones you see at farmers markets.  Being a Merlot Rose, this wine has a red grape flavour to it with a delicious Turkish delight flavoured finish.  It is definitely sweet (as is expected from a Rose) but easy drinking and very enjoyable.  A lovely summer wine.

This wine has a strong earthy, mountain trees sort of nose on it.  It even has quite an earthy flavour.  It is quite complex for a Pinot Noir, with a lot of flavours going on.  From the forest fruits to the spiciness and velvet finish.  One of our group absolutely loved it and skipped the next wine to savour the taste.  It wasn't my favourite, too earthy.  Although definitely better than a lot of other Pinot Noir's I have tasted.

Now this wine was much easier drinking.  A chocolate, vanilla nose and a darker colour of the wine.  A delicious berry flavour and smooth finish.  A very nice Merlot which apparently also has good maturing potential.

EPITOME 2008 (Syrah, Pinotage, Merlot)
This wine has a browner colour to it than the ruby hue of the Merlot above.  It has quite an earthy flavour and very spicy, probably due to the large Syrah content (60%, tobacco, cigar flavours) combined with the Pinotage (coffee flavours) in the blend.  Quite an intense wine with hectic legs.  This wine has a lot of character and will definitely age well.  A great blend, a more sophisticated wine.


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Monday, 22 April 2013

Wine with dinner - Primitivo & Chenin Blanc

Bon Vivant, a kitchen store on the island, had cooking classes from time to time.  Sushi making and champagne tasting, Canape making lessons, Mediterranean platter ideas etc.  We signed up for the pizza making and wine evening.  It was fantastic, we had to make our own dough in groups of four and then split the dough to roll out a pizza base each.  While the dough was rising Chef Lloyd then demonstrated how to make your own homemade tomato sauce to use as the base on the pizza.  Also while waiting for the dough to rise, the wine rep, who had made a concerted effort to seek out and find suitable wines to pair with our homemade pizzas, poured us each a glass of WHITE. He asked for our comments and thoughts around the flavours, what varietal we thought it was and which region in the world we thought had been produced it - the questions made for some interesting conversation, a great idea for wine club.
Once rolling out our pizza bases and lathering them in tomato sauce we topped them with our personal preferences from the array of choices, roast chicken, brie cheese, parma ham, rocket, caramelised onions and more.  Again, interesting to see all the different combinations that people come up with.
While the pizzas were in the oven cooking our wine rep filled our glasses with a RED wine and continued with the same discussions and questions posed regarding the WHITE.

Once revealing all the answers to us we were allowed to continue drinking our preferred of the two wines together with our homemade pizzas.  Chef Lloyd also quickly whipped up a tiramisu for us for dessert. 
What a fantastic evening, and who knew homemade pizzas are actually not that difficult to make.  A great way of combining interactive cooking lessons with wine tastings.

My wine notes below...
(Bearing in mind most of the opinions were noted prior to knowing any information about the wine or even seeing the label.  So none of our notes could be swayed by the "typical" characteristics of a wine.)

WINE:  Spice Route Chenin Blanc
PRODUCER:  Spice Route
REGION & COUNTRY:  Swartland, South Africa
RECOMMENDED BY:  Blackbeards wine sommelier
PLACE TASTED:  Bon Vivant pizza making class.  Delicious pizzas with awesome Chef Lloyd

APPEARANCE:  More golden than a Sav B, but not as dark as a Chard.
NOSE:  Fruity like pears and baked apples, a hint of cloves in the nose too.
TASTE:  Delicious
FINISH:  Smooth and easy drinking
OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Light and crisp, a GREAT white wine.  I chose to have this rather than the RED with my pizza.
OVERALL VALUE:   5 out of 5

WINE:  Primitivo (the same grape as a RED Zinfandel)
RECOMMENDED BY:  Blackbeards wine sommelier who mentioned it is a good pizza wine
PLACE TASTED:   With pizza at our cooking class
APPEARANCE:  A rich RED colour, not your dark and thick hue.
NOSE:  Slightly spicy, a bit of cherry
TASTE:  Buttery and fruity with a slight spice.  It tastes like it needs to sit for a year or two.
FINISH:  A bit watery, not a lot of tannins
OVERALL IMPRESSION:  A bit too Pinot-Noir-ish & Cote du Rhone-ish for me.  Not as "whole" as a Cab Sav or Merlot.  Having said that some of those in the class who were more familiar with American wines seemed to enjoy it quite a lot, as well as those who had travelled to France and enjoyed a genuine Cote-du-Rhone.
OVERALL VALUE:  3 out of 5

We actually wanted to look up the Spice Route farm when returning home to South Africa  after we enjoyed this wine and evening so much.  We thought we would need to make a trip up the West Coast into the Swartland, but in fact, while the grapes are all grown there the farm and tasting room are actually based just outside Paarl.  This farm is definitely one of our favourites with the beautiful views and number of different activities available.  My notes from our numerous visits have been documented in another post.

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Wine with dinner - Cupcake Red Velvet

For those times when a delicious bottle of wine is bestowed upon us, or we find a gem at a local store and make an effort to cook a complimenting dinner, I've added some short post of times spent and notes made in my 'little black book of wine tasting'.  The layout here is the same as that of my Little Black Book, short and simple so more time can be spent enjoying the company you are with.

I spent time living in the Caribbean where you can find the odd South African wine and the more expensive European wines, but the USA and South American wines are much more reasonable (having to not travel as far) and have a wider selection of wines available in the local stores.  So, some of these notes may include foreign wines.

My wine notes below...

WINE:  Cupcake Red Velvet
PRICE:  $14 (KYD)
REGION & COUNTRY:  California, USA
GRAPE VARIETY:  Blend - Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah.
RECOMMENDED BY:  Ourselves after perusing the shelves and seeing their unique name and branding.
PLACE BOUGHT:  Big Daddy's
PLACE TASTED:  At Home.  On the beach watching the sunset before enjoying some homemade chicken pie.  I may have thrown a splash of wine into the sauce of the pie for some added flavour - delicious!

APPEARANCE: A dark hue, a very full reddish purple colour.
NOSE: Rich and fruity with a hint of coffee
TASTE:  Quite similar to a Pinotage with the berry flavours and chocolate mocha finish
FINISH:  Smooth.  Very nice!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely one of the better USA wines we have tasted.  I would definitely like to try it again together with a big slice of home made Red Velvet Cake.

There is actually a great range of Cupcake wines.  The farm and vineyards are in California where a number of the wines are created.  The winemaker does however travel the world collaborating with other winemakers in Argentina, Australia, France and Italy to name a few, to develop wines.  The Merlot for example comes from Australia's Barossa Valley region and the Riesling from Mosel Valley, Germany. 

I think it would be awesome to have a wine and cupcake pairing evening with a number of these wines for tasting.  There are a whole host of cupcake flavours you could play with from chocolate and mocha to berries and citrus - yum yum yum!

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Monday, 15 April 2013

Glen Carlou


If you can (and the restaurant is not too full), ask for a table on the deck to do your wine tasting, the view is beautiful.  If not, they have quite a nice bar area and couches to do your tasting.  I have not eaten there but the food does look delicious.
The wine tasting is complimentary with your choice of 5 different tastings.  The staff are lovely.
The art gallery is definitely worth a pop in, even those not so fond of art galleries will find the exhibit quite interesting.

My wine notes below...

Coming from a single vineyard and spending time in only new French Oak, this Chardonnay has a rick oak, toasty taste.  It has a golden, butter popcorn smell with a darker colour.  The taste is richer, but smoother than its Classic Range counterpart below.  A more expensive full Chardonnay.
41/2 * John Platter.

While this wine smells more acidic than the above Prestige Range, it has a fresher more grapefruit flavour.  It still has the typical Chardonnay syrupy finish.  Although slightly more vinegar tasting than the above, it is still a very good light Chard.

This wine is very light in colour and looks like red grape juice.  It has a fruity, watery, mocha taste.  Definitely an easy drinking wine.  As usual though, the Pinot Noirs not being my favourite. 

The Merlot smells like bitter dark chocolate and berries.  It is more dry than the usual full fruit flavours of a Merlot, probably due to time spent in French Oak which gives it a rose sort of flavour.  Very nice.

2007 SYRAH
I thought this wine had a red pepper sort of nose on it.  A combination of fruit and spice in the flavours, a dry taste with a crisp finish.  A slightly salty taste perhaps.  A very smooth wine nonetheless being a 2007 vintage.  4* John Platter.

To me this wine smelt of a combination of mocha and cayenne pepper.  It had quite a tart berry taste, your blueberry, raspberry, cranberry flavours with a spice finish.  While I did enjoy the wine, I found it to be a bit too sweet, almost like a Muscadel, just without the heavy syrup feel.

This wine has spent time in 2nd French Oak and is not as smooth as its Prestige Range counterpart below.  Having said that it does have more berry flavours with a dry peppery finish and is still a very good wine and well priced.

I thought this wine smelt like lipstick, that smell when you go through your mom's makeup as a little girl.  That aside, it is a deliciously smooth wine with lovely spicy black cherry flavours.  Having spent 18 months in French Oak, this is a smooth, rich, full bodied wine.  Delicious.  41/2 * John Platter.

2008 GRAND CLASSIQUE (Bordeaux-style Blend)
This wine smells of blackberries and earth (like soil).  It has a very smooth berry flavour with a cigar finish and after taste, and minimal tannins.  A VERY good blend!  Definitely my favourite of the Glen Carlou tastings on this occasion. 

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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hamilton Russel Vineyards


On a weekend away in Sandbaai we decided to do some tastings in the Hemel en Aarde Valley.  A beautiful valley with winding roads and spectacular views all the way down to the ocean.  There are some fantastic wines in this area, with the sea breeze influence and the mountainous terrain.  There are about 10-15 different wine farms and it is a very pleasant, leisurely drive through this valley.  Best of all you can end your day with a drink and some dinner overlooking the ocean in Hermanus.

Hamilton Russel was the first stop on this particular trip.  A beautiful farm, with tastings on the little brick veranda over looking a small dam and up into the trees.  There are only two wines available for tasting at this farm and they are very much boutique wines, the tasting being complimentary.  Very picturesque.

My wine notes below...

This wine has spent time in both oak and clay (something different).  It has quite a buttery, slightly sour taste.  A very nice wine, but a bit overpriced I thought.

Very light in colour as expected with a Pinot Noir.  A very nice Pinot Noir though, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.  A light and toasty RED wine, which will be even better with age.  Very nice, but also quite pricey.

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Friday, 5 April 2013

Doolhof Wine Estate


A friend took us here on the back dirt roads from their farm so it's doubtful whether I will be able to find my way back to this lovely Wellington estate.  A beautiful farm and guesthouse at the end of a dirt road, very tranquil.  The tasting room is the old wagon house with high ceilings, white walls and lots of natural light.  We sat at a table outside for the tasting.  While there isn't a view, it is a lovely terrace shaded by the vines on the wooden beams above you and the garden trees.
You select your five wines to taste and are then brought a tray with your name on and each of your chosen wines in the order which they should be tasted.  You can then take your time going through the tasting, enjoying the company of good friends.

My wine notes...
Those with fewer notes were tasted off friends' trays and more than one sip would've been frowned upon, hence the limited notes.

SIGNATURE CHARDONNAY 2008 (Barrel fermented)
A lovely caramel, vanilla flavour.  4* John Platter.

I thought it to be a little sweeter than your usual Sauv B.

A cinnamon woody, dried herb kind of a smell, with a hint of red berry fruitiness.  A dry taste with a full finish.  I thought it was a lovely dry RED, more sophisticated, not too fruity.

I thought this wine smelt more like geranium than the usual coffee smell of a pinotage.  It had a lovely smoky fruity flavour, quite enjoyable for a pinotage.

This is not an "easy drinking" wine, it is much more impressive than that.  A good strong serious wine.  A great blend of black cherry flavours and a dry finish.

A definite Turkish delight nose and perhaps a little in the taste.  A thought it was quite a sweet wine, your floral, berry flavours.  Not my first choice.

RENAISSANCE 2007 (50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon)
I thought it smelt a bit like a hard white cheese, perhaps emmental?!, with a similar sort of after taste.  I agree with the herbal spice nose and palate noted, a sort of herbal, floral almost fynbos smell and taste.  A very smooth fruity wine (the merlot coming through) with a sharp finish (from the Cab Sauv), great spice at the end.  A VERY good blend and well priced. 4* John Platter.

You can definitely smell the dark cherries, with a slight hint of liquorice I thought.  The wine has quite a dark rich taste, full bodied.  This wine would be perfect with a good steak or even better, next to a fireplace with a slab of dark chocolate.  It has that full, warm feel to it - delicious! 4* John Platter.

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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Delaire Graff


The views, the gardens, the decor... even the driveways are just beautiful!
I have yet to have the pleasure of dining in the restaurant but that may have to be for a VERY special occasion as I think the prices are a little above average.  But the food did look amazing!
The tasting is limited and again above averagely priced so given that we were seven people we opted to buy one bottle of WHITE and one bottle of RED and do our own tasting while enjoying the ambiance and scenery.
Definitely worth a visit.

My quick wine notes below...

I thought this wine had lovely peach and apricot smells and flavours.  A very full tasting Sauvignon Blanc with hints of lemon and lime.  A lovely light and crisp wine.  Very nice!

A Bordeaux blend with Shiraz.  A full bodied wine.  I could definitely taste the spice of the Shiraz coming through with a good berry blend.  It seemed to have a somehow dry, but berry finish.
An excellent blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot and Shiraz.  You really can taste the influence of each. Very nice RED wine!


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Fairview Masters Tasting

I usually see Fairview as far too over-commercialised with the tourist buses rolling in and the busy-ness of the taste room full of people bustling between the cheese tasting and the wine.
But, the masters tasting is in a private room at the back with probably about 8 or 9 different tables.
Once seated you are served a plate of 8 cheese samples which are to paired with the 8 wines you will taste, as well as some ciabatta chunks with 3 different olive oils.
Your personal sommier then takes you through the cheese and wine pairing and tasting experience.

Well worth it and a fantastic overall experience.

My wine notes below...

FAIRVIEW DARLING SAUVIGNON BLANC (paired with 100% goat milk FETA)
Very delicious!  Lemongrass, peachy smell.  No oak.  Grown out in Darling where the climate is cooler and the fresh ocean air blows over.  These grapes are part of the early harvest.  The farm description mentions granadillas and passion fruit - which you can definitely pick up.  The grapefruit I didn't get as much of.

Lighter in colour than your usual Chardonnay, only 30% has spent time in French Oak so that typical Chardonnay heavy caramel taste is not as strong.  Smells like apricots.  Very nice chardonnay, on the lighter side. 
The cheese was deliciously smooth.

This wine has 5* in the John Platter guide.  I found it to be quite sweet and almost like a light dessert wine.  A lovely flavour, more on the fruity side.  Very well paired with the Apricots in the cheese, a delicious cheese the White Rock.  I would serve the Nurok with a cheese board for dessert, personally.

FAIRVIEW PEGLEG CARIGNAN 2009 (paired with BRIE DE LA ROCHE, 50% cow, 50% goat)
A Spanish varietal (Carignan).  These vines are bush vines which are only about knee height.  I agree with the raspberries and cherries on the nose as per the farm description.  I thought it smelt quite full bodied and berry-ish.  Tasted of spicy berries if that is possible, with quite a tanniny dryish finish.  It was quite an unusual taste.  The farm description of liquorice, black tea & tobacco is quite apt.
The cheese was lovely!  Well paired.

Extrano meaning "strange" in Spanish, this wine is a Rioja (Spanish) blend.  I thought this wine was a VERY nice blend, not too berry tasting, although smelling of berries and bright in colour.  The description mentions strawberries which are not as tart and sweet as raspberries or blackberries.  I agreed with the subtle smokiness and rounded tannins.  A great wedding wine (something everyone will enjoy)
The cheese paired well with the wine because the wine was not too sweet.  Alone, however, I found the cheese quite rich and a little too sweet and floral for my personal preference. 

FAIRVIEW PRIMO PINOTAGE 2011 (paired with HANTAM, 100% goat milk)
This wine had a sweet cherry smell.  It has spent time in American oak giving it the vanilla and cinnamon notes.  I found it to be quite sweet almost sugary with not a very strong coffee flavour (which you usually find in a Pinotage), a light red wine.  I don't think I would have more than one glass, its nice, but not great - personal preference.
The cheese was DELICIOUS!! A hard light cheese with an oaky finish - yum!

Hand picked with open fermentation and 2 years in new French oak.  I found it to be a fruity shiraz, sweeter than usual, with a lovely spicy taste.  A very good wine that will age well.
I found the cheese to be a bit too intense for my personal taste.

CYRIL BACK 2007 (paired with GRUYERE)
This wine is the Shiraz grape produced in a different method in an outstanding climate year with no irrigation.  It has spent time in both French and American oak.  This wine is only produced in an excellent climate year.  I thought it smelt similar to a sherry / port, but the taste was more earthy.  A very good combination of fruit and earth.  This wine will definitely improve with age (or simply decant it if you can't wait).  A lovely full RED wine.

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A general summary of what I have learnt so far

I've been told time and again (and firmly believe) that wine is to be enjoyed, there is no right or wrong taste or smell and its okay to prefer the 2nd tier lable to the farm's flagship.  After all at the end of the day it's yours to drink and enjoy.
So these are the general summaries I have come up with for myself to remember the differences and not sound comepletely clueless when I'm tasting.


CHARDONNAY - The fruit flavour is more of a gooseberry, tart berry fruit.  With a caramel / butter after taste (usually from time in wood).  It is darker than other whites, more of a golden hue.  It's not everyone's favourite white, but a good one (+/-R250) is very enjoyable, although not too much as it can be a bit rich.  Favourites - Jordan, Glen Carlou.

CHENIN BLANC - The fruit flavour here is more peaches and apricots, it has a more "asyn" taste to it.  Some Chenins can be a bit too acidic, but a good one makes for a delicious summer wine.  Favourites - Beyerskloof, Windmuel.

RIESLING - I haven't quite got my finger on this one.  Leaning to the more vinegary of wines??  I do like their tall skinny bottles they usually come in.

SAUVIGNON BLANC - The favoured white wine.  Fruit flavours tend to be crisp apples and lemon (lemongrass), smelling like grass and fresh asparagus.  Usually about R70-R90 for a good bottle, although there are some GEMS for R30-R40.  Favourites - Windmuel (my wedding wine, so I could be biased)

SEMILLON - Quite tasteless and bland I find.  More of a tinned asparagus flavour than the fresh taste of a Sav B.  Usually used in blends.  If you would like to taste it alone, Rhebokskloof produces a good one.  It makes for interesting tasting, but I wouldn't buy a bottle, personal preference.  I think it smooths and adds character some how to blended whites.

VIOGNIER - A distinct vanilla nose and taste.  Sometimes blended with REDS.

BLENDS - I have seen them popping up more often lately.  They can be a lovely combination of summer flavours, or a heavier richer flavour etc all depending on the varietals, time spent in oak and a number of other factors.  Favourites - Vrede & Lust White Mischief.


CABERNET SAUVIGNON - A more "sophisticated wine"?  Somewhere between the berries of a Merlot and the spice of a Shiraz.  Usually more full bodied (which I understand as your mouth feeling full of flavours and perhaps a little "heavy" on the tongue).  The after taste lingers longer.  Usually a lovely RED (even most 2nd tier brands) and I would choose it for a dinner party gift.

COTES DU RHONE - It reminds me of a Pinot Noir with its grey tinge and watery flavour.  But perhaps have not tasted any of the good ones.

MERLOT - Usually the girls favourite.  Probably because of the berry (raspberry, blackberry) fruity flavours and limited tannins?  Tannins give you that dry mouth finish. 

MOURVERDE - Shiraz's baby sister.  The easier drinking, lighter, fruitier RED but still with your hints of spice and tobacco on the finish.  Less bold than a Shiraz. 

PINOTAGE - Natively South African.  Not really that favoured elsewhere in the world.  Unless it is a really good one, it can sometimes be disappointing.  If its too coffee like bordering on earthy with a watery fruitiness not strong enough to compliment the chocolate coffee flavours.  But a good one can be quite delicious with that perfect combination and probably the only time I have actually smelt and tasted what the lady described!  Favourites - Diemersfontein, Beyerskloof.

PINOT NOIR - I am not such a fan.  It is quite an American (Sonoma, California) wine I think.  I find it usually tastes like the wine has been watered down and has a greyish colour to it.  It's similar to a Cotes du Rhone.  Some people love it as a light easy drinking RED.

SHIRAZ -   Your spicy, tobacco, cigar wine.  For the maturer palate, otherwise it can sometimes be a bit too heavy.  I quite enjoy a good Shiraz. 

SYRAH - The same grape as a Shiraz, but the wine is made using old world wine making methods, resulting in a smoother overall taste.  The spicy-ness is not as harsh as a Shiraz.  Favourites - Spice Route.

BLENDS - I used to assume these were just a mix of the bottom of the barrel left overs.  But I have since learnt it is in fact a fine art of discovering and maintaining such a blend of such a standard year in and year out.  Blends are often a farm's flagship wine. 
Find out what the blend composition is, you can usually taste when there is more Merlot (berries) or a heavier Shiraz (spice) weighting etc.  Favourites - Boet Erasmus (Vrede & Lust), Cobblers Hill (Jordan), Rust & Vrede.

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