South Africa is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated wine regions in the world. Most of the South African wine vineyards are farmed cooperatively. There are around 5,000 growers in South Africa, most of which take their grapes to co-ops. South Africa has had various problems throughout the years because of isolationist practices from its government. For years, South African growers had difficult times importing vine cuttings because of a quarantine system that was in place. Chenin Blanc does particularly well in South Africa as does the most famous hybrid in the country, Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Besides its signature wines, Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, South Africa has had good success with Bordeaux varietals and Syrah.
"Lions Kop Merlot originates from three different vineyards, from which grapes were extremely carefully selected for their specific characteristics. Durbanville fruit. where Merlot fully ripens under rather cool conditions, lends a beautiful mineral character. Hermanus Hermanus, from an ocean side vineyard, provides a hint of mint, and a lot of freshness. Stellenbosch is the third origin of the grapes where bush vines, deep into the Stellenbosch Valley, provide highly concentrated black fruits that add an intense ripe fruit note to the Lions Kop Merlot."
"A splash of citrus and ripe peach aromas. Hints of gooseberries and tangy tangerine with a subtle vanilla oak finish."
"A refined and well-balanced Chenin Blanc with notes of gooseberry, green apple and guava. The finish is long and shows an elegant minerality."
"Upfront tropical, guava flavors on the nose and ripe peach and pineapple aromas that follow through to the palate. This wine is an excellent example of a rich and ripe bush vine Chenin Blanc style with fresh, flinty flavors and a long, clean, crisp aftertaste."
"94 Points- Kahn's Staff. Loaded with ripe mandarin and lime on the nose, leading to notes of early spring jasmine and cling peaches. The tropical palate is richly textured with hints of wild herbs and Indian spice, adding complexity and good depth. It is medium-bodied and unhindered by oak giving a lively fruit structure and soft and easy finish."
"95 Points- Kahn's Staff. The Big Easy Red Blend is a melange of ripe Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and layered with waves of Grenache, Cinsaut, Mourvedre and a touch of Viognier. Quite perfumed and fittingly complex, the palate is lined with chocolate, spice and confectionary cherries. A peppery nuance adds further character, all framed by a fine structure and juicy core. Ready to drink, its long chalky finish will assist its 5 years ageing potential."
"35% Cabernet Sauvignon 40% Merlot 25% Pinotage. Each component of this Cape blend offers it's own qualities. The Cabernet nose is fairly dominant, the Pinotage is soft and sweet while the Merlot offers a subtle spiciness. Ripe tannins with an innate softness that will mature with cellaring. Full on the palate with a sweetness on the finish. This blend brings the best of Pinotage to the classic French varieties."
"Displays ripe apple aromas and a light to medium-bodied, simple yet fun personality. Lively, smile-inducing and fresh, it offers flavors reminiscent of crisp apples and citrus fruits."