2010 De Toren "Z" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1125142 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Z is a blend of 55% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 12% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. It has an opulent ripe, menthol-tinged bouquet whose hedonism could have derived from the Napa Valley - but it is well defined and very pure. The palate is full-bodied with ripe bold tannins that offer firm backbone and structure. This is showing better balance than previous vintage with expressive black plum and a touch of dark chocolate on the finish. Fine. Drink 2013-2020.  (12/ 2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 This well-crafted red shows alluring aromatics of black tea and singed anise, exhibiting a suave feel to the concentrated flavors of dark plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit. A singed alder spine runs through the finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016.  (6/ 2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep red-ruby. Pungent aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, truffle, chocolate and black pepper. Sweet and very ripe, with plush flavors of dark berries, truffle, tobacco, graphite and licorice. Finishes with serious, tongue-dusting tannins and excellent length. The Fusion V is the estate's Left Bank blend; this one is the Right Bank.  (6/ 2013)

K&L Notes

55% merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 12% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot.

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Price: $31.99

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.