South Africa

Ataraxia

Chardonnay 2016

Greg Ballington
9.2

Second and last of the blind white wines for our South African blind tasting. Relatively new to the US-DC market and brought in by Alyssa and Ian Red Wolf Imports. Made up of 100% Chardonnay, 100% barrel fermented and aged for nine to ten months in around 20% new French oak.

Medium yellow with a touch of oak and butter on the nose. A little bit of citrus too. Medium plus acidity (6.5/10) and rounded with a medium body. A creamy texture and mouthfeel throughout with notes of lemon zest, a touch of stone fruits and minerality. Needed to warm and some time in order to open up and lengthen. Medium plus to long finish. Would be very interesting to try with a couple years in the bottle. Drink till 2026. (92+)
— 11 days ago

Sean BallingtonIndia OkohDavid L
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Keermont

Terrasse White Blend 2015

Greg Ballington
9.2

First of the blind white wines for our South African blind tasting. This bottling by Keermont Vineyards is still just a baby that needs some time to fully open up and needs to be around cellar temperature to be enjoyed. Light pale yellow with a muted nose. A touch of floral notes and a little bit of stone/tropical fruits. High acidity (7/10) with a slow attack moving towards a medium to medium plus body. Notes of lemon zest, peaches, and solid minerality on the palate. Really pulls nicely together with the acidity in the long finish. Drink till 2027.

I think
@David L can attest to the value and deliciousness of this bottling!
— 11 days ago

India OkohSean BallingtonDavid L
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David, Shawn and 10 others liked this
David L

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Tremendous blend on this wine. It just needed a little time to warm up. Absolutely delightful. Thank you again for the amazing collection of South African wines.@Greg Ballington
9.2
Greg Ballington

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Always love spreading the love for SA wines! Let me know if you need the details for any @David L

Delaire (Laurence Graff Wines)

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Greg Ballington
8.9

Last of the reds in our South African blind tasting. First reserve wine we have tried from Delaire Graff, interested in trying some more of their wines. Deep ruby core with garnet edges. Herbal notes on the nose with some cherries. Solid acidity and medium tannins (6/10). Medium bodied with some nice complexity on the palate. Notes of cherries, blackberries, cassis, spices, mint, herbal and earthiness. Dry with a medium plus to long finish. Drink till 2020. — 11 days ago

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Cape Winemakers Guild

saronsberg sneeusig Shiraz 2012

Greg Ballington
9.3

Fourth of the reds in our South African blind tasting. This bottle is a unique one. Of the 60 cases produced only 42 were auctioned off at the Cape Winemakers Guild last year. Deep purplish ruby red with a powerful nose out of the bottle. Notes of caramel and perfume mixed in with smokiness and red berries underneath. Medium tannins (6.5/10) and medium plus to full bodied. Black cherries on the attack with some spices, twigs and stoniness coming through the long finish. Drink till 2029.

Aged for 20 months in 100% new French oak and made by Dewaldt Heyns.
— 11 days ago

Sean BallingtonIndia OkohDavid L
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Castello di Novelli

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi 2010

Greg Ballington
9.2

Third of the reds in our South African blind tasting. Limited production by Noble Hill in South Africa. Made up of 100% Mourvedre and aged in French oak for 36 months. Only 372 bottles produced.

Luckily this showed a lot better than last time, prior bottle was corked. That was at your place
@David L . Dark garnet red. Lovely and dark nose with dark cocoa, meatiness, a touch woody and toasty. Medium tannins (6/10) and medium plus bodied. Rounded with dark berries on the palate, purple flowers, spices, chalk, dark cocoa and almost a little coconut. A touch sweet but not overpowering. Long and lingering finish. Excellent bottling by Noble Hill. Drink till 2024.
— 11 days ago

Sean BallingtonIndia OkohDavid L
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Hartenberg

Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Greg Ballington
9.0

Second of the reds in our South African blind tasting. Definitely has some age as can be seen by the deep garnet core, bricking on the edges and more translucent. Lots of South African funk on the nose, a bit stinky with notes of pepper and light red berries. Medium tannins (5/10) and medium bodied. Earthy on the palate with red plums, cherries and crushed gravel with a medium to medium plus finish. This bottle has definitely aged gracefully, seemed a lot younger on the palate, maybe around ten years, not seventeen. Drink now. — 11 days ago

Sean BallingtonIndia OkohDavid L
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David L

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I think the slight knock on it was you & your dad had this Merlot in years passed ...thought it had a bit more fruit to it. I had a healthy glass of this and thoroughly enjoyed it. Would have never guessed this to be a Merlot. Need to try a few more vintages of this 😉
9.2

Graham Beck

Méthode Cap Classique Brut Champagne Blend

Graham Beck entering its third generation as a family winery, established in 1983 when entrepreneur Graham Beck purchased Madeba farm outside the Western Cape town of Robertson. A blend of 53% Chardonnay and 47% Pinot Noir, aromas of tropical fruits and biscuit notes, vivid crisp acidity on medium finish ending with yeasty notes. Nice value. — 3 hours ago

Unidentified

We are identifying this wine.

Absolutely fantastic way to celebrate an anniversary!! Had 2009 private preview, no. 831 of 2915. Delicious! — 11 days ago

Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Pinot Noir 2015

Greg Ballington
9.0

First of the reds in our South African blind tasting. This is the benchmark Pinot Noir for South Africa made by Emul Ross. Light to medium garnet red with light bricking on the edges. A touch earthy and smokey on the nose with some cherries. Medium plus acidity (6.5/10) and light tannins (4.5/10). Light plus to medium bodied with some cherries, a little petrol and floral with raspberries and some meaty notes. Medium plus to long finish. Needed a solid decant to open up and was better when I sneaked a peek on day two. Drink from 2018 till 2025. — 11 days ago

Sean BallingtonIndia OkohDavid L
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Phil, Serge and 11 others liked this

Indaba Wines

Chardonnay 2016

Nice white for the price. Definitely on my list of to buy again. — 10 days ago