First Tasting of the Year

Well we are back after a little hiatus during the December push. We had an absolutely fantastic Christmas and obviously hope you did as well. The wines for this week’s tasting all hail from South Africa. We hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

Bayten Sauvignon Blanc

So the actual name of the vineyard here is Buitenverwachting… Did you get that? Well the locals didn’t much care for it either and have taken to calling the vineyard Bayten for short. This is one of the oldest producers in South Africa. They’ve been making wine since 1796, if you can believe that. The vineyard is located just a few miles from the Ocean in the Cape of Good Hope.

The soils here have large amounts of decomposed granite, helping maintain Sauvignon Blancs classic minerality even though the past 4 vintages have been quite warm. The wine is crisp and zesty showing classic aromatics of lime and gooseberry. The palate is tart and with pepper and herbal flavors supported by lovely mineral flavors.

La Capra Viognier
What a fun wine and cool vineyard. So the label for this wine tells you quite a bit. First off, in addition to making wine Fairview is also a goat farm. From the farm they produce their wines but also goat’s milk cheeses as well. The Viognier produced here is a little different than what some will be used to from California or Virginia. There is not as much in the way of stone fruits to this wine and it is much more ethereal than the oily heavy examples coming out of Australia. Intense aromas of orange blossom and peach with a hint of spice abound on the nose. The rich yet rounded mouthfeel is accompanied by fresh fruit flavors and a lingering ginger finish.
Tormentoso Bush Vine Pinotage

‘Cabo Tormentoso’ is literally translated as stormy cape or cape of storms. It was the original name for the Cape of Good Hope given to it by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomieu Dias who first rounded the Cape in 1488. 
Tormentoso is part of the Man Vintners group, with the goal of producing vineyard focused wines at a reasonable price.
The fruit for the Pinotage is selected from several of their vineyards. The goal with this wine is to produce an ultra modern bright berry driven style Pinotage, rather than the rubbery, smokey examples you’re probably accustomed to.
A delicious, full-bodied Pinotage with typical aromas of black cherry, toasted marshmallows and sweet fruit. The soft, rich tannins and plum flavors on the palate are enhanced by the addition of a little Syrah. 
This wine will pair well with lighter meals such as grilled, roasted or sautéed foods, or spicy chicken

90 pts. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Tormentoso Cabernet Sauvignon

The deep, pebbly and weathered Malmesbury shale soils in the Agter-Paarl region are home to our dry-farmed, 5-wire-trellised Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. These tough conditions allow for smaller, flavour-filled berries which are then barrel matured for a full 12 months. An inviting nose of sweet coconut, tobacco and classic Cabernet Cassis is followed through on the palate, and enhanced by the vanilla oak flavours from the barrel maturation. The juicy red wine-gum flavours provide a lingering, lengthy finish. This full-bodied, wine with its soft tannins pairs well with meaty dishes, strong cheese, pasta dishes, grilled mushrooms and dark chocolate.