2006 Rust en Vrede Estate Red Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1055507

93 points from The Wine Spectator: "Ripe and polished, with a superfresh core of red and black currant fruit, licorice, spice cake and braised fig. The great tangy, embedded structure carries the long, iron-tinged finish. Should stretch out nicely with cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Drink now through 2015." 3,060 cases made. "The Rust en Vrede Estate Red Blend is the first South African wine to be in The Wine Spectators Top 100 four years in a row and only once in a decade did it score below 90 points, and that was 89 points.! The 2006 is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Shiraz and 8% Merlot. Malolactic fermentation is completed in both tank and barrels with the three varietals vinified separately and then left to mature in mostly new French and American 300lt barrels for 23 months. After 18 months in bottle, the wine is then released. The nose has notes of plum, black cherry, spice, earth, and mocha. On the palate, the wine has good acidity with fine dusty supple tannins that support a powerful core of fruit that leads to a long lingering finish." Jim Chanteloup South African Wine Buyer.

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Price: $39.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.