2012 De Toren "Fusion V" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1252089 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Bold, dark and concentrated, this blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot still shows some youthful restraint on the nose and palate, suggesting this is a wine best enjoyed after 2018 and through 2024. Seductive notes of toasted oak, cocoa nib, licorice and Thin Mint kiss the black-fruit core of boysenberry, blackberry and cherry. The mouthfeel is dense, with a firm structure and bold tannins that grip the long, spicy finish. (LB)  (12/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Bright medium ruby-red. Inviting aromas of dark plum, cassis, spices, licorice and menthol. Plush, velvety and seamless on the palate, offering lovely pliancy for a Cabernet-dominated wine. The dark berry and spice flavors are complemented by a chocolatey richness but kept firm by underlying minerality. Finishes with serious, well-buffered tannins and building, palate-saturating length. Has the balance to be enjoyed early or to cellar. As with the Z blend, this bottling is now made entirely with estate fruit. De Toren is very concerned about avoiding harsh tannins and greenness in their wines and thus employs women to pick the fruit due to their gentler hands. (ST)  (7/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 A lush, ripe, enticing style, with lovely raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry coulis flavors that stretch out, carried by a well-embedded graphite spine through a long anise- and roasted apple wood-framed finish. Rock-solid. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2016 through 2024. (JM)  (4/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and the remainder Petit Verdot, the 2012 Fusion V has a very floral bouquet with glossy black fruit and macerated small dark cherries with the Malbec offering a touch of violet. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. This is very nicely balanced, a step up from the 2012 'De Toren Z' in my opinion, smooth and sensual on the finish that neatly handles the 40% new oak. This is a well crafted Bordeaux blend leaning towards the more modern style, albeit in less obvious fashion than older releases. (NM)  (9/2015)

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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.