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.
"91 Points- Wine Advocate Ripe dark fruit with cassis and blackcurrants, laced with a subtle, sweet vanilla undertone from the oak. The elegant oaking expresses hints of smokiness and tobacco leaf, creating a complex wine with a velvety finish on the palate."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Prime Cuts Red is a blend of classic South African grape varieties. In other markets, non-varietal red blends often meet with resistance but this is to miss out on some amazingly great value wines."
"A lovely blend of grape varieties from the Cape, fresh and fruity palate, crisp and lively finish. A hugely drinkable wine which would pair well with food as well"