M.A.N. Family Wines ‘Bosstok’ Pinotage 2014

manpinotage

Winery: José Conde along with brothers Tyrrel and Philip Myburgh founded M.A.N. Family Wines in 2001. M.A.N. is an acronym representing the first letter of each of their wives’ names. Beginning with 300 cases produced in a tractor shed, they have advanced to producing over 175,000 cases of wine per year and exporting to 25 countries. The winery is located in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, and consists of 30 farmers that are also shareholders in the company.

Philosophy: Using modern techniques with traditional elegance, they strive to produce “daily wines for wine geeks”, wines “that offer bang for your buck”.

Winemaking: All of the vineyards and growers are certified sustainable and socially responsible, nearly 80% of the vineyards are un-irrigated, and 52% are un-trellised “bush vines”. The name ‘Bosstok’ actually refers to these bush vines, the “bosstok Pinotage vineyards grow close to the ground, producing lower yields of concentrated, flavourful grapes”. Bosstok is crafted in “a modern style that showcases the best Pinot Noir-like characteristics of Pinotage, emphasizing bright fruit and soft tannins, making it “a very accessible Pinotage”.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, licorice and roasted herbs. Dense fruit [blackberry, black cherry and tart cherry] wrap around a smoky earth core, whilst black cherry, crushed black peppercorn and coffee hints comprise the lengthy finish. Robust and hearty, this is consistently a fantastic value.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: sweet-spicy dishes, risotto, barbeque

100% Pinotage
Coastal Region
South Africa
Produced by Man Vitners
14% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now

Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2014

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Winery: The Mulderbosch estate was founded in 1989 and is located in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape region of South Africa. The estate is a member of WWF-SA Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, following sustainable and organic methods in both the vineyards and cellar. Many areas of their land are under conservation, such as wetland rehabilitation and the introduction of native plant and animal species. In 2011 Mulderbosch was purchased by wine investor Charles Banks’s Terroir Capital LLC, a firm that specializes in “unique hospitality and wine properties”.

Philosophy: They relish “the opportunity to preserve and improve all our vineyards and surrounding lands for the next generation. We see ourselves as custodians in this regard and as such are actively involved in land conservation and rehabilitation.”

Winemaking: Over the past few years Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc has been awarded many accolades, with perhaps most significantly wine guide author John Platter calling it ”South Africa’s most celebrated Sauvignon”. Fermented on the lees “for as long as possible”.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant gold in colour with aromas of lemon and wildflowers. Bright flavours of grapefruit and floral notes are highlighted by traces of green olive and flinty minerals. A racy acidity buoys tart green apple and lemon zest on the zippy finish. Lively and refreshing, this is wonderful for sipping on its own or with a wide variety of dishes, especially those that are loaded with fresh herbs.

100% Sauvignon Blanc
Western Cape
South Africa
Produced & Bottled by Mulderbosch
$14 [average price]
Enjoy now

 

Sample submitted for review purpose.

A.A. Badenhorst ‘Secateurs’ Chenin Blanc 2014

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Estate: Cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst, who grew up on neighboring vineyards watching their grandfather and fathers manager the vineyards, own A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines. The 60 hectares of vineyards are located in the Swartland appellation of South Africa and consists of old vines planted in the 1950’s and 60’s. Award winning winemaker Adi Badenhorst practices sustainable farming and traditional winemaking methods and is involved with the South African biodiversity project, which sees the estate planting over 300 trees each year.

Philosophy: The cousins take inspiration from “The great old wines of South Africa and the discarded varietals, the bottles of which can be found in the forgotten corners of old cellars before modern methods and fame came along and changed the purity of the wines.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from dry farmed, low yielding, old vines located on the northern side of the Paardeberg Mountain. Sulphur is added if necessary and only minimally. Fermented in concrete and old vats.

Tasting Notes: Gold in colour with aromas of lemon, honey, minerals and hints of wet wool. Tasting very similar to the aromas, with friendly apple, lemon and honeysuckle flavours. Minerals and traces of lemon zest comprise the clean finish. A bright streak of acidity balances the honeyed fruit flavours, making this fantastic on its own or with a variety of dishes, especially those with cayenne, cilantro and fennel. Also great with semi-gamey cheese.

100% Chenin Blanc
Swaartland
South Africa
Bottling information not listed on label
13.5% Alcohol
$12
Enjoy now

Boekenhoutskloof ‘The Wolftrap’ Red 2014

wolftrap

One of my favorite winter values at $8; super easy drinking yet loaded with smoky spice and dense fruit.

Estate: The Boekenhoutskloof estate was established in 1776 and is located in the corner of the Franschhoek Valley in the Western Cape of South Africa. Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree with its name meaning “ravine of the Boekenhout”. In 1993 new owners [a group of businessmen including wine distributer Vinimark owner Tim Rands] set about transforming the 20 hectares of vineyards with sustainable methods, along with new cellars and equipment. With over 9,600 plant species, the estate lies within a world heritage site that contains one of most diverse plant kingdoms in the world. Due to the unique habitat, the estate focuses on restoration and preservation of the land, and actively participates in biodiversity and conservation initiatives. ‘The Wolftrap’ line [there is also a Rosè and white blend] was “created to remind us of the mysteries and legends of days gone by. The mountains are still alive with indigenous animals, including the majestic leopard. No evidence of wolves has ever been found though”.

Winemaking: The estate is certified sustainable. The grapes were sourced from low yielding vineyards in the Swartland, fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak before blending and bottling.

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with savory, gamey aromas of earth and smoked meat. Dense dark fruit notes are wrapped in dark chocolate and soft tannins. Smoky cedar, black peppercorn, and hints of dense black cherry comprise the plush finish.

82% Syrah, 16% Mourvédre, 2% Viognier
Western Cape
South Africa
Matured and bottled by Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek
14.5% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now thru 2016

DeMorgenzon ‘DMZ’ Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2014

dmz

Estate: DeMorgenzon translates to “the morning sun’” and refers to the fact that due to its high altitude it is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof valley to see the sunrise. The first vines were planted in the early 1700’s, in 2003 Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum purchased the estate and have considerably revived the land. They are a committed member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), a pioneering partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector.

Philosophy: “We are committed to sustainable and appropriate agriculture and are sensitive to the environment” in addition to “focusing on wines which express our unique terroir and fruit within a classic structure”.

Winemaking: The estate operates on the principle that “wine inevitably expresses the earth in which it grows”, and focuses on sustainable agriculture and protecting the distinctive biodiversity of the area. They have carried out extensive research on the effects of sound waves and music on plant growth, and pipe Baroque music through the vineyards believing the effects of sound energy have a positive effect on the ripening processes.

Tasting Notes: Cherry red with coral highlights, with aromas of strawberry and sweet hay. Strawberry and tart red currant flavours are accented by a lively acidity along with white flowers and spice hints on the crisp finish.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Western Cape
South Africa
Produced and Bottled by Demorgenzon
13.5% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now thru 2016