May Premium Wine Club

City-on-hill-red-blendCity on a Hill Wine Company
Red Blend
Swartland, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

The second of their “canvas wines” and the second vintage of this wine, City on a Hill Wine Co. used three varieties stretched across five vineyards. This wine remains the winery’s main focus in terms of red wine and this blend continues to grow in vineyards and varieties as they stretch their reach further across Swartland. The Red Blend has great structure, showing red and black fruit with their trademark Swartland fynbos and olive notes. Syrah dominates this blend followed by Tinta Barocca, and Cinsault.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Syrah, Tinta Barocca, and Cinsault
RS: 1.9 g/L
TA:
5.2 g/L
pH:
3.65
Fermentation: Native Yeasts – 75% whole bunch
Vessels: Old 500 liter oak barrels
Year of Planting: 1968-1990’s
Soil Type: Decomposed granite, schist, & clay
Cultivation: Bush vines & trellised vineyards

ABOUT CITY ON A HILL WINE CO.:
City on a Hill Wine Company was started with one goal in mind: to make wine with freedom to explore and engage the vast terroirs and people that make up this beautiful region. The team was drawn to the rustic traits of the Swartland in the South Western part of South Africa – a location where you will rarely find landscaped vineyards or shiny farm gates, but rather an unforgiving landscape and people of the soil. The climate is hot and dry, and the conditions are becoming very extreme to farm in. Herein lies the beauty of the Swartland: a mix of old dry-land bush vines planted by previous generations, complimented by younger plantings of newer and experimental varieties, planted by this generation for the generations to come. City on a Hill Wine Co. has grown their offering to six wines. A lot of effort goes in to ensure constant improvement in all areas of grape growing and vinification. This is a lifelong task and something that the next generation will benefit from.
 


Last-of-the-First-WineFalse Bay Vineyards
Last of the First
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Professor Perold’s creation, Pinotage, was propagated at Elsenburg College in 1935. In 1941 Myrtle Grove on the Schapenberg was chosen for the first commercial plantings. Today only one block remains on the Schapenberg — The Last of The First.

Completely different in style to inland Pinotage. The Last of The First is elegant, perfumed, graceful. It is luminescent dark cherry in color with earthy smells of lifted mulberry and damson plums. The taste is balanced with finely integrated tannins threading through from start to finish. It highlights morello cherry with a touch of earthiness. Drink now and over the next decade. Serve at 59ºF – pairs beautifully with duck.

Region: Schapenberg (W.O. Stellenbosch)
Varietal: Pinotage

Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume
RS: 1.5 g/L
TA:
4.9 g/L
Total SO2: 85 mg/l
Production: 1549 bottles

REGISTERED SINGLE VINEYARD:
A small and singular parcel of mature 1994 planted Bush Vine Pinotage measuring 1.3 hectares. This block is the last Pinotage grown on the ocean facing slopes of the Schapenberg, where the original commercial plantings of Pinotage took place. This rare little block is on a cooler, elevated south-facing slope, just 2.5 miles from False Bay. Due to the effect of incessant wind and the application of organic farming practices, the berry-size and yield is also tiny at just over 3 tons/ha or 20 hl/ha. The up-side, however, is healthy grapes with excellent balanced concentration. Good things really do come in small packages.

WINEMAKING:
Grapes are handpicked, sorted and fermented whole bunch with wild yeasts in a small open top oak fermenter, using regular, manual-punch downs during the fermentation process. The wine is left on the skins and stems for 31 days, then is pressed off in a basket press before being transferred to three old 600 liter barrels. Here, the wine goes through a maturation period of 16 months before bottling without fining with only the lightest of filtrations.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Named after South Africa’s most iconic bay, which frames much of the country’s premium wine-lands, False Bay Vineyards, was born from a desire to make ‘real’ wine affordable. It is a sister company to Waterkloof Winery. In 1994, well before Waterkloof was founded, Paul Boutinot came to the Western Cape to seek grapes from balanced, yet under-appreciated vineyards. These vineyards would soon be lost to large co-operative blends that were dominating South Africa’s wine industry at that time. Paul transformed these Cape gems into wines with minimum intervention – something unusual for the time. He chose to organically farm using wild yeast ferments and no acid additions. Today, ingredients remain the same using beautiful coastal fruit, old vines, wild yeasts and additions avoided. Learn more here.

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Peacock Wild Fernet Chenin Blanc

pad-thai-3

© Photo by Cooking Classy

Pad Thai (with Chicken or Shrimp)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 oz Thai Rice Noodles
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into small strips, or 1 lb extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips and strips halved
  • 1 ½ cups matchstick carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 green onions, whites minced, greens sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • red pepper flakes and sesame seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to directions listed on package. In a mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce, set aside.
  2. While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a wok or a 12-inch deep sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes. If using shrimp cook about 1 ½ minutes per side or until opaque.
  3. Transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan. Add bell pepper and carrots sauté 1 – 2 minutes then add garlic, green onions and bean sprouts sauté 1 minute longer. 
  4. Push veggies to edges of pan and crack eggs into center. Cook and scramble until eggs have cooked through. Add in chicken, noodles and sauce and toss everything together and cook 1 – 2 minutes.
  5. Serve warm topped with cilantro, peanuts and optional red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.

© Recipe courtesy of Cooking Classy.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Silky stylePeacock_cheninNVFalse Bay Vineyards
Peacock Wild Ferment Chenin Blanc
Stellenbosch, South Africa

SILKY WINE STYLE

Aromas of peach, lime and green apple on the nose. These elegant flavors carry through onto the palate with a lovely freshness and a long, elegant finish. Enjoy this wine with a variety of dishes, including seafood, chicken risottos and Thai cuisine.

Varietal: 100% Chenin Blanc
Analysis:
13% alcohol / volume

TA: 4.8 g/l
pH:
3.5
RS:
2.5 g/l

“Chenin Blanc is regarded as the workhorse of the South African wine industry. It produces the bulk of our generic white wines. There are, however, some gems lurking amidst the flurry of Chenin blanc vineyards. Our goal is to identify these gems and allow them to be expressed in our Peacock Wild Ferment Chenin Blanc. Our Peacock Wild Ferment Chenin Blanc grapes stem from the Helderberg ward on the coastal outskirts of Stellenbosch (the home of Waterkloof). Over time, these old bush-vine vineyards (20—50 years old), planted in Chenin friendly soils, have found their natural balance and it definitely shows in the wine.” – False Bay Vineyards

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
False Bay Vineyards follows a minimal intervention winemaking philosophy. Their grapes are tasted at regular intervals to ensure optimal taste and ripeness level. The grapes are hand-harvested and whole bunch pressed in a modern basket press. Wine undergoes natural clarification over a 24 hour period, without any added enzymes or settling agents. From here, the juice is fermented in stainless steel, concrete eggs and 600L old barrels with “wild yeasts” driven from the grapes; this process allows the flavors of the vineyard to be expressed in the wine. Due to the natural balance of the grapes, no additional tartaric acids are needed. The wine is fermented for about three months and then it is left on the secondary lees for another month before bottling.

ABOUT FALSE BAY VINEYARDS:
Waterkloof Winery’s sister company, False Bay Vineyards, produces two collections: the earlier drinking, yet refined Peacock Wild Ferment range, named after the brightly plumed birds conspicuous in and around Waterkloof’s vineyards and the False Bay wine range of easy-drinking yet quality driven wines. Named after South Africa’s most iconic bay, which frames much of the country’s premium wine-lands, False Bay Vineyards, was born from a desire to make ‘real’ wine affordable. Learn more about False Bay Vineyards here.

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Peacock Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon

Grilled Steak

© Photo by Steve Giralt

Perfectly Grilled Steak

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch-thick boneless rib-eye or New York strip steaks (about 12 ounces each) or filets mignons (8 to 10 ounces each), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. About 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature.
  2. Heat your grill to high. Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135°F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140°F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150°F).
  3. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board or platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

© Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoPeacock_CABSAVNV (1)False Bay Vineyards
Peacock Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon

Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

A wine that portrays typical varietal character along with a lot of elegance and accessibility. On the nose you can enjoy subtle red berries, a hint of chocolate and green spices. The palate has a lifted freshness and soft tannins which are well integrated- the fruit also carries through well to the aftertaste. It’s great enjoyed on its own, but also pairs well with a variety of dishes ranging from a simple tomato-based pasta dish to a juicy sirloin steak.

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
13.4% alcohol / volume
TA: 6.3 g/l
pH:
3.46
RS:
2.6 g/l

“Cabernet Sauvignon has always been seen as a big, bold and very tannic wine…the king of the reds. It is traditionally marketed as a wine to keep for at least three years before even thinking of opening a bottle. But at Waterkloof we believe it does not necessarily have to be big and gutsy to make an impression. We look for vineyard sites that are able to produce wines with notable elegance and freshness, allied with a fine texture.” – False Bay Vineyards

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
The grapes for our Peacock Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon are sourced from the cooler slopes of the Helderberg ward on the coastal outreaches of Stellenbosch. Deep red soils provide moisture and nutrients, which give this Cabernet its supple, dark berry character. This cooler area also allows a longer ripening period, which imparts balanced flavors and elegant tannins to this red varietal. False Bay Vineyards use very minimal intervention during their winemaking process. The grapes are tasted regularly to determine the optimal ripeness and taste. Wines are hand-harvested after the grapes are de-stemmed. The juice is naturally fermented using “wild yeasts”, allowing for the flavors of the vineyard to be further expressed in the bottle. The skins are juice are mixed using two punch-downs or two pump-overs per day. The wine is aged in older 225L barrels for 9 months, after which it underwent a light filtration and a small dosage of sulphur is added before finally bottled. No other additions such as tartaric acid or enzymes were added.

ABOUT FALSE BAY VINEYARDS:
Named after South Africa’s most iconic bay, which frames much of the country’s premium wine-lands, False Bay Vineyards, was born from a desire to make ‘real’ wine affordable. The sister company of Waterkloof Winery, False Bay Vineyards, produces two collections: the earlier drinking, yet refined Peacock Wild Ferment range, named after the brightly plumed birds conspicuous in and around Waterkloof’s vineyards and the False Bay wine range of easy-drinking yet quality driven wines. Learn more about False Bay Vineyards here.

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May Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds fatty tips trimmed)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 small garlic cloves (halved)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and garlic and cook until the chops are browned, about 2 minutes longer for medium meat. Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.
  2. Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

© Recipe courtesy of Janet Mendel from Food and Wine.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCircle-of-Life-RedWaterkloof
Circle of Life Red

Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

A perfectly integrated blend with great length, combining the spiciness of the Syrah, the fresh fruits of the Petit Verdot and juiciness from the Merlot. The introduction is fresh and fruity with good acidity, evolving into riper flavors and herbaceous notes, and with elegant tannins and light acids on the finish. It is very versatile and will complement numerous dishes, but the winery recommends enjoying it with a hearty piece of lamb.
 
Varietal: 26% Syrah, 24% Merlot, 26% Petit Verdot and 24% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 13-14% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 5.2 g/l
VA: 0.7
Residual Sugar: 2.3
Production:
17,400 bottles produced
 

Circle of Life tells the story of Waterkloof: A once conventionally farmed vineyard with great potential, that – since Paul Boutinot took over the property – has been transformed into a living, breathing organic and biodynamic vineyard by Farm Manager Christiaan Loots and his team. Waterkloof winery strives to produce distinctive, yet balanced wines using traditional, organic and biodynamic methods. They work with nature, not against it. Chickens, sheep and work-horses have unique and integral parts within the vineyard. Their soils are free of chemicals, and instead are kept healthy using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from their own organic compost. The winery continuously works to understand their vineyards to harness the individual characteristics of each vineyard block. Waterkloof’s objective with Circle of Life was to produce two blends that encapsulate all the varying terroir characteristics and grape varietals found on Waterkloof.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
All grapes are hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards, then brought to their cellars by their work-horses. The grapes are then hand-sorted again at the winery to ensure only the best berries are being used. The sorted grapes are then placed into wooden fermenters using their gravity system. This fermentation process starts naturally with yeast present on the grapes to enhance the flavors from the vineyards. Throughout the fermentation process, the winery performs soft punch downs twice a day to gently and slowly extract the tannins. The wines will spend around 30 days on the skins – give or take depending on taste. After the maceration time on the skins, the wine is ran down using gravity, no pumping is incorporated. The grape skins also fall through into the basket press and are softly pressed to gently extract every last bit of wine, aroma and color. The varietals are then aged separately in French oak for about 18 months. After the aging process, Waterkloof blends the Syrah (26%), Merlot (24%), Petit Verdot (26%), and Cabernet Franc (24%) together, then keeps in wooden fermenters for another 9 months. This wine is unfined and gently filtered.

ABOUT WATERKLOOF:
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: ‘THIS IS IT!’ Just like that, Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began. Learn more about the history of Waterkloof here.

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Winery Spotlight Series: Virtual Tasting with Winemakers of South Africa

Savory Sips of South Africa

Virtual Tasting on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Waterkloof Wine Estate
Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) Wines
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate
Brew Cru

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Zoom logo

RSVP at your local WineStyles and get a front row seat on Zoom! 

Join us for this special Winery Spotlight tasting event online, featuring the four winemakers of our September Wine Club wines from South Africa.  To find your nearest WineStyles, click here.

Nadia Langenegger, Winemaker of Waterkloof Wine Estate
Wilhelm Piennar, Winemaker of HPF Wines
Johann Fourie, Head Winemaker of Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate
Bertus Fourie, Winemaker of Brew Cru

These incredible winemakers will be tasting through the following wines during our zoom event:

South Africa Wineries

September Wine Club Wines

ABOUT THE WINERIES AND THEIR WINEMAKERS:

Waterkloof Wine Estate:

In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: THIS IS IT! Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began.

Nadia Langenegger of Waterkloof Winery

Winemaker Nadia Langenegger


Meet the Winemaker:
Nadia Langenegger grew up in Somerset West in the Western Cape of South Africa. After graduating with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, she completed her first student harvest at Flagstone in South Africa, then went on to harvest in Australia, France, and New Zealand. At the end of 2008, she joined the Waterkloof team as assistant wine maker to Werner Engelbrecht; in 2013 she was appointed as Winemaker, when Werner left Waterkloof.

Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) Wines:

In the early 1800’s farmers imported a teacher named Hermanus Pieters to teach their children Dutch, the forerunner of Afrikaans. He would be paid in sheep which he grazed at a fountain under the Milkwood trees near the sea. The spot soon became known as Hermanus Pieter’s Fountein (HPF).  In 1855, the village was named after him – Hermanuspietersfontein.  Fast forward 100 years later, a wine cellar baring his name is the longest Afrikaans name for a cellar in the world and using Afrikaans-only wine names.  Operationally, their 350-ton urban winery combines European mindset and gravity concept to minimize handling and intervention in the winemaking process. “Good earth makes better wine” is HPF’s winemaking philosophy, the expression and sense of place is the soul of Sondagskloof.

Wilhelm Pienaar Winemaker

Wilhlem Pienaar, Head Winemaker

Meet the Winemaker:
Wilhelm Piennar, having 10 years of experience and traveled to more than 50 countries, has gained valuable knowledge and insights into the wine industry. With a double Masters degree in agriculture at Stellenbosch University and University of Montpellier, Wilhelm is the Managing Director and Head Winemaker of HPF wines.  “Winemaking is not just a job, it is a passion and a lifestyle.  And the essence of it, for me, is for the winemaker to remain true to his or her intuitions.” – Wilhelm Piennar

Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate:

Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is a 200 hectare lifestyle farm and exclusive luxury estate situated in Walker Bay, Hermanus. Overlooking the Bot River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean these unusual maritime conditions ensure that this unique terroir produces outstanding quality grapes.

Winemaker Johann Fourie

Winemaker Johann Fourie


Meet the Winemaker:
Johann Fourie was introduced to the world of wine as a student during his studies at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. After extensive wine estate visits and experiencing the passion winemakers have for their craft, he changed the direction of his studies to specialize in winemaking and set out to become one of South Africa’s leading winemakers. With an incredible list of awards, and stints in more than nine international countries, Johann is now the Head Winemaker for Benguela Cove Wine Estate, situated in Walker Bay, South Africa.

Brew Cru:

Brew Cru is dedicated to cool-climate wines from the Cape South Coast, sourcing wines from maritime wine wards such as Elim and Walker Bay.  Both vineyards share hardened landscapes with constant gusts of Atlantic sea winds, which contributes to a cooler climate. This unique terroir provides extended ripening periods and extremely low yields resulting in small, intensely flavored berries with great potential. 

Winemaker Bertus Fourie

Winemaker Bertus Fourie

Meet the Winemaker:
Bertus Fourie is a legend in the world of creating distinctive wines. Known, as ‘Starbucks’, for his creation of the now iconic Coffee Style Pinotage. This Swartlander, born in Malmesbury, always loved wine, but never thought of it as a career. When arriving at University to study medicine, he found that due to an ‘administrative error’ he had not been admitted. Having worked in a cousin’s vineyard, he enrolled to study Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch; and as they say, the rest is history.

RSVP at your local WineStyles location > click here for store locator

September Premium Wine Club

Brew Cru Black Label Pinot NoirBREW CRU
Black Label Pinot Noir, Single Vineyard
Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Hemel-en-Aarde, a region known for producing world class cool climate wines, is synonymous with outstanding South African Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.   Influenced by a maritime climate it enjoys cool daytime temperatures that are even lower overnight, particularly during the growing season resulting in this medium bodied wine with classic elegance that exhibits both grace and power. 

This elegant wine shows prominent aromas of black cherries and raspberries with undertones of violets. It has a finely textured palate with silky tannins, strawberry and plum making way for slight savory notes by a fresh and vibrant finish.

Winemaker Bertus Fourie“In my 21 years of making wine, this is without a doubt the wine that best expresses typical Pinot Noir and the precision I’m after when it comes to fruity purity, fine tannins, overall balance and grace.  A non-forgiving and challenging grape to work with, but when the stars align it all comes together in the form of our maiden ‘Black Label’ release.” –  Bertus Fourie, Winemaker

Winemaking: Grapes were handpicked and only individually selected bunches were harvest at maximum flavor intensity. After both bunch and berry sorting on arrival at the winery, the grapes underwent a four-day pre-fermentation cold soak allowing for maximum fruit and color extraction. Four micro fermentations using a combination of whole bunch and whole berries fermentations were done to give depth and a full palate of aromas.  Alcoholic fermentation lasted approximately eight days after which it was pressed, settled, and transferred to barrel for malolactic fermentation. The wine was not racked from barrel only once over the 12-month maturation period, as preserving the freshness and fruit was key for the styles the team was looking to produce.

Appellation: Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, South Africa
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.3% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.49
TA: 5.51 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.7 g/l
Aging: k
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

 

Benguela Cove Vinography Cabernet Franc bottleBenguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate
Vinography Cabernet Franc
Estate Grown
Walker Bay, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Vineyards: Walker Bay is making great inroad with Bordeaux varieties.  Nudged by the Bot River lagoon with vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyards enjoy cool daytime temperatures that drop even more at night.  A beneficial diurnal range aids in even ripening and complexity, ushering the development of delicate fruit notes, fine tannin structure and a bright acidity.  Cabernet Franc enjoys the nuances of the climate, resulting in small, concentrated berries

Character: At the outset, this Cabernet Franc appears to be reserved. Decanting is advised to enjoy the full flavor spectrum. Varietal characteristics like black cherry, salted licorice, cinnamon, dark chocolate and hints of potpourri is framed with cooler notes of Greek Oregano, graphite and cedar.  An earthiness prevails as bold fruit envelopes your whole mouth.  Mad with focus, clarity and the intention to age.

Johann Fourie Winemaker

Winemaker Johann Fourie

Personality: This wine is the quintessential balancing act of fruit, tannin and acidity with absolute persistence. Commanding yet sophisticated, this Cabernet Franc fulfills the aim of producing a cool-climate wine that was picked at the proper ripeness level and still portrays that old world benchmarks finesse and elegance.

In the Cellar: Grapes were handpicked at optimal ripeness, followed by bunch and berry sorting. A four day cold soak allowed for maximum flavor and extraction and another seven days post fermentation maceration added even more depth of color.  The juice was inoculated, followed by gentle punch downs twice a day. After alcoholic fermentation, it was pressed, settled and transferred to barrel for malolactic fermentation where it was kept until prior to bottling.

Pairing: Braised lamb shoulder, beef bourguignon, or Puttanesca pasta.

Appellation: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14.34% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.49
TA: 5.83 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.77 g/l
Maturation: 22 months in 40% new French oak barrels
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our PREMIUM WINE CLUB, enjoy amazing wines every other month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn more about our Premium Club >

 

September Bubbly Club

Astraeus RoséBubbly Wine ClubWaterkloof
Astraeus Rosé Pinot Noir MCC
Elgin Valley, South Africa

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“In Greek mythology, ASTRAEUS, father of the four wind gods and the stars was an astrological deity known as the god of the dusk. Appropriately he married Eos who was the goddess of the dawn. Together they had many children, one of whom was named Boreas: God of the cold north wind, which howls relentlessly through Waterkloof’s vineyards and so defines the character of our grapes and resulting wines. While many people believe Waterkloof’s logo depicts a blowing man, it is actually a blowing god – Boreas. No myth, this palest of pale MCC rosés is a true product of nature.” – Waterkloof Wines

This is a lightly colored Pinot Noir Rosé with fine bubbles and not an overpowering mousse. It gives off floral and mineral aromas and strikes a fine balance on the palate between elegance and fine supporting structure. It can be enjoyed on its own or with some classic red fruit desserts.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
TA: 6.2g/l
pH: 3.2
Residual Sugar: 5.24 g/l

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS:
The grapes for Astraeus were sourced from an organically farmed vineyard in Elgin Valley, in the Western Cape of South Africa. Here, the Pinot Noir grapes receive enough cold temperatures during the winter season, as well as during the growing season, with Elgin Valley’s natural level of cloud cover. Elgin has a big diversity in soil types, but this particular vineyard consists of Table Mountain sandstone, which imparts a minerality to the wine.

Vineyard Work 1

WINEMAKING PROCESS:
This hand harvested Pinot Noir is whole bunch basket pressed for the purest juice; no further maceration is allowed. The juice is then left to settle naturally for 12 hours. From there, wild yeast fermentation, with no additions, takes place in old 600 liter barrels, where the wine spends 9 months on the lees. With bottling, champagne yeast is added and the wine is left in bottle on the lees for a further 11 months; after it is disgorged and left under cork for a further 7 months, the wine is ready to be released.

HISTORY OF WATERKLOOF:
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: THIS IS IT! Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began.  Learn more about the Waterkloof story here >

 

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September Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubBenguela Cove - Noble Late HarvestBenguela Cove
Noble Late Harvest
Hermanus, South Africa

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This wine has a medium straw color with heady notes of honey blossom, orange peel, pineapple and dried peaches. The lovely sweetness of the wine is balanced with a lingering finish while still remaining fresh and crisp on the palate.

Region: Walker Bay, Hermanus, South Africa
Analysis: 9.50% alcohol / volume
Residual Sugar: 190.00 g/L
pH: 3.17
TA: 8/30 g/L
Critical Acclaim: 4.5/5 stars in 2016 Platter’s South African Wine Guide

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Enjoy this versatile liquid gold nectar of the gods on its own or with strong cheeses, figs, pâtés, pastries and desserts. This wine should always be enjoyed well chilled.

ABOUT BENGUELA COVE LOGOON WINE ESTATE:
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is a 200 hectare lifestyle farm and exclusive luxury estate situated in Walker Bay, Hermanus. Overlooking the Bot River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean these unusual maritime conditions ensure that this unique terroir produces outstanding quality grapes.

VINEYARDS:
Benguela Cove’s close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean results in a cooler median daytime temperature and in cool maritime winds that caress the vineyards at night. This favorable climate, use of covered crops and the direction in which the vines face aid in the slow ripening of these grapes.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes’ exposure to the cool ocean mist helps to create conditions under which botrytis cinerea (noble rot) can flourish, producing grapes of concentrated intensity.

Photo by Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate: Penny Streeter OBE (Owner) & Johann Fourie (Winemaker)


WINEMAKING:
The grapes are harvested, pressed, centrifuged, and then held as a cold juice at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. The juice is fermented at various intervals throughout the year, which allows the wine to remain fresh and delicate throughout the entire fermenting process. The Stella Rosa family uses this technique to capture the fresh flavors of natural blueberry distillates & purées for their Blueberry wine, and an off-dry Rosé, busting with fresh flavors for their Watermelon wine. Both Stella Rosa Blueberry and Watermelon contain natural carbonation. The juice is fermented in Charmat-style, pressurized tanks, and as the alcohol is created, so is the carbonation. Once the desired sweetness is achieved, the wine is centrifuged and bottled. The alcohol level stays at approximately 5% and contains 6-10% residual sugar. Its natural acidity and low pH strike the perfect balance with the wine’s natural sweetness.

Benguela Cove Vineyard

Photo by Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate

VINIFICATION AND MATURATION:
The botrytis cinerea grapes were meticulously selected and harvested by hand. On arrival at the cellar, further hand selection and sorting of botrytis infected bunches was done. Destemming was followed by 24 hours of cold maceration and thereafter the fruit was pressed several times to extract the highly concentrated juice. After settling, fermentation occurred in both stainless steel tanks and 225-liter French oak barrels (20%) at 16°C. This process took three weeks until the desired sugar/acid balance was reached. Fermentation was stopped by filtration and the wine was then chilled.

VINTAGE:
A cool ripening period, and especially low night temperatures, contributed towards exceptional quality and flavor. The favorable conditions resulted in exceptionally flavorful and intense Sauvignon Blanc with good acidity. The harvest had the earliest start in decades and resulted in one of the best vintages for white wines with above average quality. Warm weather in August resulted in earlier bud break, after which a warm, dry and windy summer kept vineyard growth under control and accelerated ripening by approximately two weeks. The dry weather also led to one of the healthiest seasons in years.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a blue cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

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Sweet Club

Brew Cru Chardonnay

Asparagus and Bok-Choy Frittata

Asparagus and Bok-choy Frittata

© FoodandWine.com

South Africa is one of the so-called New World wine countries, along with Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas, but its wines best reflect the balance of the European tradition. A South African chardonnay will make a marvelous partner for this Italian-inspired dish.  When making an Italian frittata, don’t limit yourself to traditional ingredients. The Asian flavors that fill this version offer a real change of pace. Cook the eggs on top of the stove or in the oven —but be sure to use moderate heat so they don’t turn rubbery.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small head bok-choy (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 eggs, beaten to mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oven to 325°F. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick frying pan, heat the cooking oil over moderate heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bok-choy and cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 3 minutes more.
  • Evenly distribute the vegetables in the pan and then add the eggs, pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until the edges start to set, about 2 minutes. Put the frittata in the oven and bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Drizzle the sesame oil over the top. Serves 4.
  • © Photo and recipe courtesy of FoodandWine.com 

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

Brew Cru ChardonnaySilky styleBREW CRU
Chardonnay
Hemel-en-aarde Ridge, South Africa

SILKY WINE STYLE

Walker Bay, a region known for producing world-class, cool climate wines, is rapidly becoming synonymous with outstanding South African Chardonnay. Its close proximity to the ocean is ideal for the development of lovely lime notes, austere structure and lively acidity. 

This well-balanced wine displays the true characteristics of a cool-climate Chardonnay.  On the nose there is beautiful orange blossom, peach and mandarin with tones of raw almonds. The palate shows great finesses and has subtle hints nougat and toasty notes with a refreshing, lasting and creamy finish.

Appellation: Hemel-en-aarde Ridge, Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Analysis: 13.9% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.2
TA: 6.6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.6 g/l
Aging: 9 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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South Africa HPF Posmeester Merlot

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese

Grilled Flat Iron Steak

© SunnyBryd

Steaks and Merlot are a sure thing, especially with blue cheese, rosemary, garlic and a hot grill. Your Merlot will be mad for this meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pound flat iron steak
  • 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Whisk together vinegar, garlic, 1 tablespoon black pepper, rosemary, oregano, and kosher salt in a bowl along with the olive oil. Place the flat iron steak into a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade overtop. Squeeze the excess air from the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove steak from the marinade, shake off excess, and discard the remaining marinade. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes as the grill warms.
  • Mash together the butter, blue cheese, chives, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper; set aside. Cook the steak on the preheated grill to desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with a dollop of blue cheese-chive butter.
  • © Recipe courtesy from Kristin at Allrecipes.com

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

HPF Posmeester MerlotBold wine Style logoHermanuspietersfountein (HPF)
Posmeester Merlot

Walker Bay, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

In the early 1800’s farmers imported a teacher named Hermanus Pieters to teach their children Dutch, the forerunner of Afrikaans. He would be paid in sheep which he grazed at a fountain under the Milkwood trees near the sea. The spot soon became known as Hermanus Pieter’s Fountein (HPF).  In 1855, the village was named after him – Hermanuspietersfontein.  Fast forward 100 years later, a wine cellar baring his name is the longest Afrikaans name for a cellar in the world and using Afrikaans-only wine names.  Operationally, their 350-ton urban winery combines European mindset and gravity concept to minimize handling and intervention in the winemaking process. “Good earth makes better wine” is HPF’s winemaking philosophy, the expression and sense of place is the soul of Sondagskloof.   Sondagskloof is sheltered in a mountainous area, 50 kilometers from the southern tip of Africa and was granted “Ward Status” (ie. AVA) in February 2007.  While the ward comprises of two farms, Hermanuspietersfontein is the only wine producer marketing the Wines of Origin Sondagskloof.

Elegant red blend with an aroma of red and purple fruit such as blueberries and currants.  Milk chocolate undertone and fruit freshness. Lush and juicy palate; supple and full with good length.

Appellation: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: 85% Merlot, 14% Shiraz, 1% Mourvedre
Analysis: 13.8% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.5
TA: 5.35 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.2 g/l
Aging: 10 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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