Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Warwick Estate does it again with big scores from Steven Tanzer
2010 Sauvignon Blanc Professor Black Stellenbosch Bright pale yellow. Ripe, expressive aromas of nectarine, peach, grapefruit peel and dusty spices, all lifted by a floral quality; showing the clean, fruity side of the variety, not the herbal, peppery one. Smooth, round and dry in the mouth, with good breadth and a seamless texture to the stone fruit and pineapple flavors. Sound acidity gives the wine a light touch and solid backbone. But this is delicious already. 90
2008 Pinotage Old Bush Vines Stellenbosch Bright ruby-red. Sexy floral scents of dark berries, eucalyptus, cinnamon, pepper and licorice. Suave and vinous, with a compelling deep sweetness to the berry and cedar flavors. Smooth and classy pinotage with a light touch. Finishes with fine, mouth-dusting tannins, excellent length and enough structure to support further improvement in bottle. 91
2007 Three Cape Ladies Cape Blend Simonsberg (a blend of 35% cabernet sauvignon, 34% pinotage, 27% syrah and 4% merlot): Deep, saturated ruby-red. Burnishes aromas of plum, black cherry, currant, cedary cigar box and sexy oak. Lush, rich and deep, but with harmonious acidity framing the complex flavors of plum, chocolate, licorice and mint. This boasts a compelling sappy core of sweet fruit and superb energy for a wine that spent nearly three years in oak. Very sophisticated and very long, finishing with building tannins that call for patience. A beauty. 92(+?)
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon The First Lady (cabernet sauvignon; no new oak): Good full medium red. Cassis, pepper, fresh herbs and graphite on the nose. Suave and silky but not at all overly sweet, showing a medicinal reserve to the flavors of plum, currant, licorice and mint. A laid-back wine with a rather light touch, in an Old World style. Finishes with dusty tannins. This needs time in bottle to expand. 90(+?)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Warwick in Wonderland
'The First Lady' scores big with Steven Tanzer and Arrowine.
It's easy to find a highly rated cabernet sauvignon with great depth, complexity, and texture if you spend $80 or $100. If you look hard, you can even find one for $30-$40. But you just can't get cabernet sauvignon this deep, lush, and complex for $16 per bottle. And yet $16 is the suggested retail price of the 2008 Warwick Cabernet Sauvignon "The First Lady", a deep and complex cabernet rated 90+ points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar ("Outstanding and highly recommended" and "likely to merit a higher rating in the future").
And today you don't even have to pay $16. Our e-mail case price for this deep and complex cabernet sauvignon is just $10.99 per bottle -- over 30% off the suggested retail price!
2008 Warwick "The First Lady" Cabernet Sauvignon
Not only is this cabernet deep and complex and highly rated and outrageously inexpensive, this exciting and exotic cabernet sauvignon also comes from one of the most celebrated wineries of an entire continent, the famed Warwick Winery, located on Simonsberg mountain in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Warwick property, formerly called the "Farm of Good Success," was established in 1770. In 1964 it was purchased by Stan and Norma Ratcliffe who recognized the potential of the property to grow world-class wine, especially cabernet sauvignon.
Norma Ratcliffe was one of the first female winemakers in South Africa and is still considered among the greatest winemaking talents in the history of her country. Her outstanding worldwide reputation earned her the moniker "The First Lady of South African Wine". This wine, created by her son, Mike Ratcliffe (now active in running the estate), is named as a tribute to his famous mother who is still active at the estate. A panel of winemakers, journalists, sommeliers and other wine professionals recently named Norma Ratcliffe one of the "most important women in wine of all time" saying "she is one of the most important trailblazers in the South African wine industry.
She and her husband began growing grapes and vegetables in the 1970s, and Ratcliffe became so enraptured with winemaking that she went to train in Bordeaux in the mid '80s. Many of South Africa's successful winemakers, in turn, trained under Ratcliffe. She's still the director of Warwick Estate in Stellenbosch." How does this cabernet sauvignon taste?