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  1. Meerlust Rubicon Stellenbosch 2015
    VM92
    $29.98
    Availability:In Stock
    92 Points! The 2015 Rubicon had been a source of contention prior to my visit, hailed by some respected commentators as one of the Cape’s greats and then almost pilloried in a contemporaneous blind tasting. It is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, each fermented separately before blending. It was matured for 18 months in 66% new oak and the remainder second-fill. So what do I make of the wine? It is clear in color with quite a deep core. The bouquet is refined and focused, offering attractive mint- and graphite-infused black and red fruit and perhaps leaning a little more toward the latter compared to previous vintages. With aeration, subtle touches of pencil shavings emerge. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin and quite velvety in texture, displaying very well integrated new oak. There is a satisfying sense of harmony to this Rubicon and it is certainly well constructed, but it does not possess that peacock’s tail on the finish that takes a very good wine to the level of great. Perfectly enjoyable, and it demonstrates very good winemaking...- Neal Martin, Vinous Media Learn More
  2. De Wetshof Estate Chardonnay Bon Vallon Robertson 2018
    WS92
    $14.98
    Availability:In Stock
    A flash of matchstick gives way quickly to a bright core of green and yellow apple flavors laced liberally with honeysuckle and verbena notes through the nicely detailed finish. Very, very solid. Drink now through 2021. - Wine Spectator Learn More
  3. Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2014 500ml
    VM94
    $84.98
    Availability:In Stock
    94 Points!  The bouquet bursts from the glass with marmalade, honeysuckle, orange rind and tropical fruit, all beautifully defined, if perhaps just a little waxier than I recall. The lively, viscous palate presents layers of fresh apricot, honey and orange zest, leading to a precise, vibrant finish. I love the chutzpah of this Vin de Constance, and though it will age, I do not begrudge anyone drinking it now.
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  4. Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2017
    WS90
    JS90
    $17.98
    Availability:In Stock
    90 Points!  A sauvignon blanc with pretty density and undertones of attractive dried peaches and light oranges. Medium body and a fresh finish. - JamesSuckling.com
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  5. Kanonkop Estate Pinotage Stellenbosch 2016
    WS92
    $36.98
    Availability:In Stock
    92 Points!  Sleek and refined, especially for the grape, with a sanguine thread weaving around a core of gently steeped black currant, cherry and plum fruit flavors. Alluring black tea details and a dash of singed alder check in on the finish. Needs a little cellaring. - Wine Spectator
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  6. Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2016
    VM90
    $14.98
    Availability:In Stock
    90 Points!  The 2016 Kaapse Vonkel saw a portion of the Chardonnay fermented in old French oak barrels. It carries off the slight oxidative style quite well, offering walnut and chalky nuts and an emerging touch of dried orange peel. The palate is fresh and crisp with a fine bead of acidity, hints of peach and clementine toward the finish, and rosewater on the aftertaste.
     
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  7. Simonsig Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2018
    $9.98
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    South Africa has been an interesting proposition winewise.  Starting to export in the 90s after the apartheid was lifted, the political stigma and rather parochial styles of most of the wines made it difficult to get any traction for the category in this marketplace.  Now that we are about a quarter century into the ‘program’, we and they have learned a few things.  The styles of many of the wines have become more international in an attempt to create better market penetration.  A lot of those wines are competitive internationally, but it is fair to say that a good many of them are not memorable.
     
    With a few exceptions, most of South Africa’s best efforts are uniquely South African.  Among the most notable are the work of folks like Erin Sadie and some dynamic new white blends from an emerging cadre of open minded, creative newcomers.  But the grape that seems to achieve the highest expression as a varietal is...Chenin Blanc. 
     
    Typically the vines are old, with deep roots extracting distinctive character from the unique vineyard sites, tremendous infused minerality and crackling, mouth-watering acidity.  This is not the sweet, quaffable stuff that permeated the American market in the 70s, sort of a precursor to the white Zin era.  In fact the best examples of South African Chenin can hold their own with the produce from the ‘motherland’ of the Loire Valley.  Which is better?  That’s not a sweeping debate but rather comes down to the individual comparison being made. 
     
    Huet or Chidane versus Sadie Family or Alheit?  Fantastic comparison on the quality front though the acidity is a bit more driving in the South African wines.  Frankly, for the most part, although the best of the Loire ‘giants’ are expensive these days, the best SA versions typically cost more.  Advantage Loire.  On the value end of the spectrum, however, we have seen things come out of South Africa that are downright unbelievable, and we have recently come across one of the most remarkable examples of South African Chenin Blanc we have ever tasted for this kind of price.
     
    Simonsig was among the first wave of wineries that came over here when South Africa was permitted to enter this market.  We tasted a number of wines over the years but mostly reds.  We can assure you we never had their Chenin or it would have been a staple.  Apparently, Simonsig Chenin Blanc was the first wine released by founder Frans Malan in 1968 and this particular bottling marks their 50th Anniversary harvest. 
     
    For a wine that is going to sell for this kind of price, it is given the royal treatment in the vineyard with all hand harvesting from 30-40 year old bush vines and cool, controlled fermentation.   In the glass, a honey/peach aroma makes its presence felt right out of the gate. The flavor aromas of crunchy ripe kiwi and green melon jump out of the glass. The palate is crisp and fresh with Granny Smith apples and sweet tropical limes all sitting atop of driving acidity.  The Simonsig Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2018 is what Chenin is supposed to be, with broad, bright honeyed toast, peach, and subtle minerality all as part of the presentation, but with the kid of cut that makes it all quite vibrant.
     
    Full and round up fruit, and so easy to sip, this has the kind of riveting acidity that makes an impression and makes the mouth water.  A complete effort with sizzling character, a little punch of berries and lemon s underneath and mouth watering snap to the finish.  You can drink this with lighter fare or on its own as an amazing aperitif.  Normally with most wines we’d roll out some sort of reviews, but wines like this doesn’t get the kind of respect they deserve and this one wasn’t reviewed anywhere we saw. 
     
    Like we said, we don’t recall ever tasting past incarnations of this effort from Simonsig, but this is one is one of the best Chenins we have had at any price in terms of its verve and, certainly among the best value white wines we hve had period.  At $10, it’s downright silly.  Over the years one of our value, go-to Chenins was Mann (also from South Africa), but this one is better.  In fact we have tasted few others this compelling at any price.
     
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  8. Lismore Chardonnay Reserve 2017
    VM95
    $44.98
    Availability:In Stock
    95 Points!  The 2017 Estate Reserve Chardonnay was matured in 500-liter barrels using 40% new oak. It has quite a powerful bouquet of crushed stone, yellow stone fruit, jasmine and light walnut aromas that are very well defined, although it clearly needs a couple of years to absorb the oak. The palate is very precise on the entry, displaying notes of orange zest (veering toward blood orange), quince and nectarine. This has wonderful acidity and great build in the mouth toward a very impressive, almost Corton-Charlemagne-like finish. This will be outstanding once it reaches the peak of maturity.
     
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  9. Lismore Viognier Age of Grace 2017
    VM93
    $29.98
    Availability:In Stock
    93 Points!  The 2017 Age of Grace comes from purchased Viognier fruit from Elgin grown on rose quartz soil. It has a well defined bouquet of yellow plum, mirabelle, apricot blossom and subtle popcorn aromas. The palate is clean and precise with a fine line of acidity, hints of stem ginger complementing the tropical fruit (passion fruit and peach skin), and the finish is spicy and quite persistent. Excellent.
     
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  10. De Wetshof Estate Chardonnay Lesca Robertson 2017
    WS93
    $17.98
    Availability:In Stock
    93 Points! Very enticing, with creamy green and yellow apple, pear and melon flavors laced with verbena and honeysuckle notes, kissed elegantly by a sweetened butter hint through the finish. This is why people love Chardonnay. Drink now through 2021. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
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  11. Beaumont Chenin Blanc Hope Marguerite Bot River 2017
    JS90
    VM91
    $29.98
    Availability:In Stock
    91 Points! The 2017 Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc was fermented and matured in oak, 15% new. It offers attractive orange peel, dried honey and white chocolate scents that open with aeration, and the prudent use of oak is welcome. The palate is well balanced with fine weight; touches of orange pith and nectarine lace together toward the quite refined and persistent finish. This is a classy Chenin Blanc. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media
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  12. De Toren Fusion V Stellenbosch 2015
    WS92
    WE94
    JS91
    $49.98
    Availability:In Stock
    94 Points!  Deep, brooding scents of black plum, cherry and cassis form the soul of this beautiful, richly concentrated wine. Plenty of licorice, cigar-box spice and bittersweet cocoa ride atop the fruit core, while notes of green peppercorn, leather and tobacco flesh out the midpalate and flourish on the finish. The crushed-velvet texture offers ample tannic grip and balancing acidity to keep everything in harmony. While it's hard to resist now, this should shine from 2023–2028. - Wine Enthusiast
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  13. Sadie Family Old Vine Series Skerpioen 2017
    VM93
    $49.98
    Availability:In Stock
    93 Points! The 2017 Skerpioen is an equal blend of Chenin Blanc and Palomino from 80-year-old unirrigated vines on pure limestone soils. It has a crisp, marine-influenced, cockle-shell-scented bouquet, veering toward Chablis in style. The palate is beautifully balanced, with a fine line of acidity, and very saline in the mouth. Walnut and a dab of ginger emerge toward the finish. Excellent. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media
     
     
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  14. Sadie Family Old Vine Series Skurfberg 2017
    VM96
    $54.98
    Availability:In Stock
    96 Points! The 2017 Skurfberg is 100% Chenin Blanc from a 1.5-hectare parcel planted between 1940 and 1955 and was fermented and aged in old foudres. It has a very sophisticated bouquet of Japanese yuzu, mirabelle, a little honeysuckle and a light turpentine scent. The palate is beautifully balanced with perfect acidity, veins of stem ginger and a touch of curry leaf fanning out wonderfully on the finish along with hints of white peach and melon. This is one of the standouts from Eben this year. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media
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  15. Stark-Conde Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2015
    JD91
    $19.98
    Availability:In Stock
    91 Points!  Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in roughly 30% new oak, the deep ruby/purple-colored 2015 Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon reveals terrific notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, tobacco and leafy herbs. With medium-bodied richness, a very classic, fresh, structured style, present tannin, and a great finish, it's a beautiful wine. - Jeb Dunnuck
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  16. Alheit Hemelrand Vine Garden 2015
    WA93
    VM91
    $39.98
    Availability:In Stock
    93 Points! The maiden 2015 Hemelrand Vine Garden comes from vines planted in 2010 around the winery: Verdehlo, Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat. It has a perfumed nose, less fruit and more resinous than its peers with beeswax and honeysuckle aromas, linseed and chalk emerging with time. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry. There is wonderful saline notes here, but perhaps a little more depth and fruit intensity on the finish with yellow plum, citrus peel and hazelnut. This constitutes one of Chris Alheit's best wines this vintage. - Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
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  17. B Vintners Pinot Noir Black Bream 2015
    WS93
    $29.98
    Availability:In Stock
    93 Points!  This is gorgeous, with light cinnamon, black tea and powdered star anise notes inlaid into a streamlined and silky core of crushed cherry and raspberry fruit. The long, perfumy finish weaves like incense smoke in the air as a subtle minerality plays out. Drink now through 2021. 250 cases imported. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Magazine, December 31, 2016
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