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South Africa on Grape Thinking - Part 2

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Zevenwacht 2004 ‘Tin Mine’

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

tin-mine.jpgSuper ripe and plump with tropical fruits, touches of oak and a dose of spice, is really a genius addition to Chardonnay, and if I were a winemaker I’d be sure to steal the tactic because a bit of spicy intensity really revs it all up whilst adding a distinct floral character, and to finish the whole thing off, there’s Sauvignon Blanc, which brings some ooh-la-la to the whole blend making for compulsive sipping. This is running back and sure to score some trys and definitely a few conversions for .

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Kanu 2004 Wooded Chenin Blanc

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

kanu.jpgI first tried Kanu at the Whitehall Hotel in Chicago whilst on a business trip and at the time, having not heard much about it was very off hand. To my surprise I loved it, in fact, I found it both transcendent and incredible value for money and felt as if I’d made some remarkable discovery. However, upon research I found out that I had made anything but a discovery as Kanu is a multi-award winning label, and their Chenin Blancs are especially lauded.

The wooded Chenin is fantastic, brilliant straw colour, honeysuckle and green melon aromas. The palate is full bodied, supple, fresh and full. This is a for any oenophile’s repertoire and acts as a great ambassador and player for South Africa.

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Bellingham 2005, The Maverick Viognier

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

bellingham.JPGRich straw colour with a bouquet of fresh cut nectarines, tinned peaches, and perhaps even a touch of ginger spice, leave this in the back-line with plenty speed, lively character and yet a sharp and tough character. Both tropical and spicy with bright acidity, refreshing fruit and a full bodied palate, this is a perfectly integrated , which is greatly educational if, like me, you haven’t had much as a predominant varietal. A great ambassador, and a definite player on the South African side.

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Backsberg Elbar, 2005

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Anything associated with ‘Back’ be it Charles Back, Backsberg, Fairview, MAN Vintners or Senga Wines is tipped for greatness. I’m out of my league drinking such a , as it runs circles around my 5 year old palate being predominately , with lashings of , a dollop of Mourvedre, essences of , a taste of Petit Verdot and smatterings of and . This wine is a melange of wine in one wine and thus is one to drink with intrigue and wonder, a wine of such integration is a symbol of the new and a pleasure to drink.

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Kiwi Chablis?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

I have to say I never thought I’d enjoy getting naked so many times in a blog event, but these naked Chardonnays have been a really pleasant sent surprise. Stopping in at my local dealer I picked his brain about winning unoaked Chardonnays. His eyes lit up whilst he turned on his heal and walked to the corner piping ‘I’ve got just the thing.’ Immediately I thought I had been misheard because he walked over to the ‘New Zealand’ section – and we all know that New Zealand is waisting its time if it tries to make Chard, right? Well that’s what I would have thought til last night when I was presented with a bottle my merchant referred to as ‘Kiwi ’ (Kiwi being antipodean slang for a New Zealander.) The store has one of those cool little flash-chiller’s for white , so I frosted the sucker up and walked home with a spring in my step (mainly because of the news that the the ring leader of the Texas Mafia, Karl Rove, is voluntarily getting his corrupt power-grubbing ass out the Whitehouse…) but also because I was excited about my new acquisition.

So without much further adieu I’d like to introduce the Grape Thinking’s Tuesday contender for Wine Blogger Wednesday: Te Henga Unoaked Chardonnay 2006. This wine has made me realize what a serious competitor New Zealand is going to be in the World Cup of Wine, because it shows the sheer scope of wine-making ability the vintners in New Zealand have – and with that, all of their wines are of a superior status, making them very hard to compete with in the white wine and Pinot Noir category. I think has a chance because we do Reds really well. But of course there’s France that does both red and white like no other – but heck, lets get back to WBW for now.

Chablis is to be enjoyed with Oysters – as its minerality and bone-dry profile compliment the texture and briney nature of fresh shucked oysters. Last year, Greg Sr. and I sat in Grand Central Oyster bar, slurping down Widow’s Hole oysters with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and it was simply magnificent. However – Te Henga Chardonnay is another serious oyster wine. The wine has been crafted by Joe Babich, and its as smooth as drinking chard will ever be – the flavor profile can be described as no less than immaculate, and puts many white Burgundy’s to shame with its grace.

It’s clean, fresh and dry, with an oyster-shell/ sea breeze minerality. This is a wine to buy by the case, and an even finer wine to see the back of Mr. Rove with.

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