2007 Rust en Vrede Estate Red Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1066263

93(+?) points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Mar/Apr 11: "(61% cabernet sauvignon, 30% shiraz and 9% merlot; 15% alcohol): Bright, deep ruby-red. Vibrant, precise aromas of cassis, black cherry, licorice, bitter chocolate, minerals, mint and sexy oak, plus a whiff of tar. Then sweet, chewy and very deep, with a compellingly lush texture giving it surprising early appeal. The biggest and deepest of this set of wines, and the longest, finishing with noble tannins and exceptional building sweetness. Offers wonderful richness and concentration without undue weight. Built for a long and graceful evolution in bottle." 92 points Wine Spectator: "Tight-grained, featuring tangy maduro tobacco, black currant and black olive notes out front for now, while the core of darker fig paste, tar and ganache waits in reserve. A lovely roasted edge adds definition to the finish, while not sacrificing purity or drive. Should stretch out nicely in the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Best from 2011 through 2014." (11/10)

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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 M├ędoc 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.