Paarl, Coastal Region

Vilafonté

Series C Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2016

David T
9.5

The nose shows ripe, powerful; dark currants, blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, poached strawberries & haunting blueberries. Sweet vanillin, black berry cola/licorice, granitic soils, black fruit tea, sweet, dark, rich soils, herbaceous notes, leathery notes, just a touch of graphite with bright, dark, red, blue, purple and violet florals.

The body is full with meaty, dark, sticky tannins. The fruits are ripe with amazing florals. Dark currants, blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, poached strawberries & haunting blueberries. Sweet vanillin, black berry cola/licorice, dark spices, granitic soils, black fruit tea, sweet, dark, rich soils, herbaceous notes, leathery notes, just a touch of graphite with bright, dark, red, blue, purple and violet florals. The acidity again is perfect. The finish is balanced, elegant, beautiful, delicious, floral evolving into palate heating spice.

This one was exceptional! For around $65-$70, I would drink this over a number of similarly or more expensive Cabernets from more well know Cabernet regions.

Photos of; their vineyard during harvest, the granite soil structure of their vineyard, Our host, Sophia Hawkins and their Cellar Door facilities.
— 20 days ago

Sofia, P and 17 others liked this
P A

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@David T David sounds like a pleasant surprise Cheers 🍷

Kanonkop Estate

Black Label Pinotage 2017

David T
9.6

Extremely nice of our host Heidi to Coravin some of their flagship wine, Kanonkop Black Label. This was my first time having their Black Label and it didn’t disappoint. It is only one of two bottles I brought back. I couldn’t pass on the trade price Heidi was nice enough to extend to us.

The nose shows very dark currants and dark expresso roast. Blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, dark cherries, cocoa powder, saline, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha, vanilla, cinnamon, Black licorice, dry top soil, underbrush, dark, rich soils, touch of mint, sweet tarry notes with dark, blue and red amazingly fragrant florals.

The body is full and thick. Dark, meaty, powdery, sticky tannins. Used expresso roast grounds, steeped black tea, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, raspberries, dark cherries, cocoa powder, saline, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha, vanilla, cinnamon, black licorice, iodine notes, dry top soil, underbrush, crushed granite powder, dark, rich soils, touch of mint, sweet tarry notes with dark, blue and red amazingly fragrant florals. The acidity is near perfect. The finish is juicy fruit driven, elegant, well balanced and delicious. It is impressive and can’t wait to try it again in 10 plus years.

Photos of; the mountains around their property where they took their name. The small left plateau is referred to a Kanonkop, Heidi Kritzinger-their
Customer Relations Manager (sweetheart) with Sofia and I, tasting room lounge area and the Kanonkop entrance.
— 10 days ago

Mark, P and 17 others liked this
David T

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@Severn Goodwin Airline luggage weight limitations are also a factor. Sofia & I are notorious over-packers.
Severn Goodwin

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@David T As seasoned travelers you should be packing light, lol. Welcome home.
David T

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@Severn Goodwin Thanks. This trip was a little more challenging with the varying needs of four very uniquely different locations and activities. Thus, requiring very different apparel for each. As well, BSR packed in for our trip. 😜

Raats

Original Unwooded Chenin Blanc 2018

David T
9.2

Raats was an interesting visit from all our others. Raats is considered a small producer in the 8th ranked wine producing country in the world.

Raats buys the majority of their fruit. The vines around their tasting room, they work but, do not own. They produce their wines at another producer’s facility. It’s a daunting expense starting a Cellar Door or Winery. Custom wine crush facilities are a trend not just in Napa but, other parts of the world as well. In this particular case, it saves the owner enough money to drive the very nice cars parked outside their tasting room, one a Ferrari.

This is their no wood/oak Chenin Blanc.

The nose shows; soft tones of wet wool, peach, white, lemon, dry green herbs, grapefruit, chalkiness, volcanic minerals & yellow flowers.

The body is round, full and beautiful. Soft wet wool, peach, white, green melon, a little sour lemon, dry green herbs, grapefruit, chalkiness, palate pressing medium intensity volcanic minerals & yellow flowers. Nice round acidity and a well balanced, polished finish.

Photos of; the view from their tasting room, lots of beautiful original artworks from famous local artists...a few of them the Uncle of our host, examples of some of the soil structures around their tasting room vines and their upstairs tasting room.
— 11 days ago

Shay, Ryan and 11 others liked this

Vilafonté

Series M Red Blend 2016

David T
9.3

The nose reveals; sweet vanillin, ripe, blackberries, dark cherries, floral blueberries, creamy, blackberries & black plum skin. Black licorice notes, granitic soils, light tobacco leaf, dry stone, light fresh herb notes, dry brush, soft leather with fresh red/blue and violet flowers.

The entry is ripe and juicy and evolves into big, dry, powdery tannins with deep, dark spice that sets on the palate with heat. Ripe, blackberries, dark cherries, floral blueberries, creamy, blackberries, black & plum skin. Black licorice notes, vanillin, granitic soils, light tobacco leaf, dry stone, light fresh herb notes, dry brush, soft leather with fresh red/blue and violet flowers. The acidity is like rainfall. The elegant, ripe, lush, polished, well balanced finish is delicious. Very luxurious mouthfeel.

Photos of; their vineyard during harvest, the granite soil structure of their vineyard, Our host, Sophia Hawkins and their Cellar Door facilities.
— 20 days ago

Sofia, P and 14 others liked this

Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Ashbourne Pinotage/Cinsault 2018

David T
8.9

This was the other wine we tasted chatting in the tasting room.

While this blend is 80% Pinotage and 20% Cinsault, it’s a bit of a head scratcher as the varietal of Pinotage is a crossing of Pinot and Cinsault. Not sure why you would blend these two varietals. I’ll just copy over some of Anthony’s thoughts in a interview from 2017 when they first released this blend.

“I have always been intrigued by the idea of creating a Pinotage with a youthful, fresh, fruit purity un-tarnished by any oak influence. The Hemel-En-Aarde region produces wonderful Pinotage, but it's tighter and more taut – this is a very different expression,” he said.

I would only add that this blend was fresh, easy to drink and enjoyable. Most people in a blind tasting would simply call, “Pinotage.”

Photos of; Hamilton Russell Vineyard, another granitic soil structure from a different vineyard and a long view of the property with Anthony & Olive’s up on the hill.
— 6 days ago

Shay, Ryan and 11 others liked this

Kanonkop Estate

Paul Sauer Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2011

David T
9.4

The nose reveals ripe, lush, floral, baking spice laced fruits. Blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, black plum, cherries and strawberries. Beautifully layered baking spices; caramel, mocha & dark chocolate. Dark, rich soils, dry crushed rocks, black licorice, black cherry cola, steeped fruit tea and fragrant, red, blue and dark florals.

Beautiful full body with powdery, cocoa, dry, meaty, sticky tannins. Really nice, structure, tension, length and balance. Drink now or hold another 5-7 years. Ripe, lush, floral baking spice laced fruits. Blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, black plum, cherries and strawberries. Beautifully layered baking spices, caramel, mocha & dark chocolate. Dark, rich soils, dry crushed rocks, dark spice, black licorice, black cherry cola, steeped fruit tea and fragrant, red, blue and dark florals. The acidy is again round and beautiful. The finish, rich, lush, elegant, balanced and delicious. It’s persists endlessly.

Photos of; Kanonkop entrance, painting of Paul Sauer who this wine is named after, Kanonkop library cellar and the mountains viewed from their courtyard.
— 10 days ago

P, Laura and 15 others liked this

Boekenhoutskloof

Syrah 2015

16.5+/20 (90+/100) Аромат сливового и вишневого варенья, шоколада и ванили, нота чёрного перца. Тельное с довольно высокой кислотностью и интенсивными, суховатыми, но мелкозернистыми по текстуре танинами. Хорошо! — 13 days ago

The Inquisitor

Cabernet Franc 2016

Dark ruby in color with a wide reddish rim.

Earthy nose with black currants, bell pepper, green vegetables, wet leaves, wood, forest floor, smoke, tobacco leaf, spices, graphite, bitter herbs and peppercorn.

Full bodied and bold with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with black currants, plums, bell pepper, oak, cloves, earth, vegetables, graphite, spices, peppercorn, tobacco and dark coffee.

Medium plus in finish with firm tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very interesting wine and a nice surprise. This Cabernet Franc is earthy with lots of vegetable and bell pepper notes.

Good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up (1 hour) and shows the tannins. Good by itself and better with food.

Interesting and tasty.

I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

Aged for 24 months in Oak barrels.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$21.
— 4 days ago

Alex, Sharon and 9 others liked this

Kanonkop Estate

Pinotage 2009

David T
9.4

Nice of our host Heidi to take us back through some of their older vintages and this 09 Estate was showing beautifully.

Nice soft, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, blue fruits, raspberries & strawberries. Very soft and understated baking spices, some black licorice, dark rich soil, sweet vanillin, steep fruit tea, light, fresh herbaceous notes, mint and beautiful fresh and withering dark and red florals.

The body is full, juicy lush with soft, rounded, sweet tannins. Beautiful! Ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, blue fruits, raspberries, strawberries, hints of purple fruits, very soft and understated baking spices, notes of black licorice, dark rich soil, sweet vanillin, steep fruit tea, light, fresh herbaceous notes, dark spice that has mellowed over 10 years, mint with beautiful fresh and withering dark and red florals. The acidity is excellent. The finish is gorgeous, balanced fruit & earth. It’s delicious ripe with soft dark spice on the long set.

Photos of; the mountains as viewed from their courtyard and where they took their Cellar Door name. The top left plateau is referred to as a Kanonkop. Larger formats in the tasting room, tasting room merchandise and the Kanonkop entrance.
— 10 days ago

P, Laura and 14 others liked this

Mvemveraats

De Compostella Cabernet Franc Blend 2016

David T
9.4

The nose has nice ruby, ripe, dark, floral currants/cassis. Fruits are slightly candied. Blackberries, black raspberries, black plums, dark cherries, blue & purple fruits with faint raspberries & strawberries. Dark chocolate, mocha, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, black turned earth, steep tea, soft leather, saddle-wood, fresh tobacco, eucalyptus/mint, dry brush with dark, red, blue and violet flowers.

The body is full. Tannins are robust, dry, dusty, meaty, tarry, chewy and sticky. The fruits on the palate are slightly candied & floral. Blackberries, black raspberries, black plums, dark cherries, blue & purple fruits with faint raspberries & strawberries. Dark chocolate, mocha, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, black turned earth, steep tea, soft leather, wood plank, dry tobacco with ash, dry crushed granite minerals, eucalyptus/mint, dry brush with dark, red, blue and violet flowers. The acidy is really nice. The finish is ripe, ruby, juicy leading to dry sticky tannins & minerals. Needs some more time but delicious now.

Photos of; the view from their tasting room, lots of beautiful original artworks from famous local artists...a few of them the Uncle of our host, examples of some of the soil structures around their tasting room vines and their upstairs tasting room.

@Shay A Same here.
— 11 days ago

Shay, Ryan and 16 others liked this
Shay A

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That’s an impressive score.
David T

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@Shay A They really embrace CF and do it well. No Bell Pepper either.