2005 Constantia "Anwilka" Stellenbosch

SKU #1026003

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(63% cabernet sauvignon and 37% shiraz; a joint project of Bruno Prats, Hubert de Bouard and Klein Constantia's Lowell Jooste) Ruby-red. Aromas of raspberry, currant, licorice and spicy oak. Suave on entry, then broad and fine-grained in the middle, with a sneaky intensity to the flavors of raspberry and spice. A tad medicinal and dry on the back half, finishing with fine tatnnins and some chocolaty oak." (Mar/Apr 07) Anwilka Vineyard is a joint venture between Bruno Prats, former owner of Château Cos-d'Estournel, Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, co-proprietor of Château Angélus in Bordeaux, and Lowell Jooste of Klein Constantia Estate. Located in the prime red wine region of Helderberg in Stellenbosch, the vineyard was purchased in 1997, and production of Anwilka wines commenced in 2005. According to Robert Parker: "Fabulous...this is the finest red wine I have ever had from South Africa...This debut release, the 2005, a blend of 37% syrah and the balance cabernet sauvignon, is world class stuff, exceptional wine...."

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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.