2009 De Toren "Z" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch South Africa

SKU #1111329 90 points Wine Spectator

 Quite juicy, this features nice grippy briar and licorice snap notes coursing through the core of steeped black currant and fig fruit. Toasted, but integrated, with the licorice edge hanging nicely on the finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2014.  (2/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Fusion Z is a blend of 56% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc plus a little Malbec and Petit Verdot. It has a fresh, mint-tinged nose that whilst not complex, is full of brio and vigour. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, the Merlot offering a fleshy texture that just tapers away a little towards the finish. It has a lovely, corpulent texture though and it offers immediate drinking pleasure. Drink now-2016.  (8/2011)

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Price: $31.99
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Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/30/2012 | Send Email
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Ever since their successful maiden release in 1999, De Toren has been dedicated to a meticulous, uncompromising regimen of the highest standards in both vineyard and cellar, and this is revealed in the sheer quality of its finished products– from the elegant soft-shouldered bottle and sophisticated label designs to its stunning, complex, multifaceted wines. They don't even approach the concept of 'harvest' through the traditional lens, preferring to 'microharvest' individual blocks via infrared imaging techniques to analyze which clusters have attained the correct color constituents that determine ripeness. De Toren is also given to select only the best grapes, often removing up to 40% of fruit during the growing season to ensure optimal quality. Now you might ask, how is the wine? The 'Z' is so-named for the clarifying Zephyr winds that blow from the west through the farm and vineyards. Merlot often achieves greater depth and finesse when planted on argillaceous soils (fancy word for clay) and makes up about half the fruit for this new bottling, the balance a select blend of Bordeaux varieties. Seductive and arresting, this wine is a gleaming embellishment of explosively rich blue and black fruits,almost kirschlike in quality, balanced by superfine tannins and lovely acidity.The delectable finish is polished, refined and silky. Drink now or enjoy over the next five years.

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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 MĂ©doc 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.