Red Wine Spice Route Chakalaka 2018. Drink now, no decanting needed. Spice Route was born when founder Charles Beck converted the farm’s old tobacco drying shed into its first cellar and began making wine. The winery’s name is an ode to the dangerous path around the southern cape of Africa —the Cape of Storms” — that 15th century traders would take as they transported exotic spices from the East to the West. This quaffable and over-delivering cuvee consists of 27% Grenache, 26% Syrah, 22% Mataro, 11% Carignan, 8% Petite Sirah and 6% Tannat. 2018 brought a great harvest and fruit that translated to a concentrated wine, in both color and flavor. Most of the vines making this wine possible are unirrigated bush vines planted in deep, iron-rich Koffieklip and Oakleaf soils. Grapes were hand harvested then separately fermented in open concrete vessels. Each wine matured in neutral French and American oak for one year. After blending, the final wine was further matured in the same barrels. It is a rich and luscious wine displaying black currant, cherry and plum notes. White pepper, clove and cinnamon follow-up on the wine’s bold fruit character. This wine has medium tannins and sound acidity. It’s full bodied but drinks lighter owing to blending that is never the same, but rather a reflection of the most balanced proportions of the vintage’s bounty. The name Chakalaka speaks to this art of blending. From the Zulu language, it relays a sense of togetherness,” best emblemized by the region’s spice relish of the same name that is used to add flavor to local dishes. As such, pair this wine with flavorfully spiced dishes such as barbecue, brisket or anything featuring an element of fruit accompaniment or preserves.
Red Wine Spice Route Chakalaka 2018
Red Wine Staglin Salus Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. It is recommended to decant it an hour before service. Established in 1985, Staglin Estate is a small family-owned winery in the Rutherford Bench area of Napa Valley, producing premium quality organic wines from grapes grown on their 66-acre property. In addition to the flagship Staglin Family Vineyard label, the family also produces a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay under the Salus label named after the Roman goddess of health and wellness. Michel Rolland has been the winery’s consulting oenologist since 2000. An underground cellar, inaugurated in 2002, is dedicated to the aging of these internationally recognized top Californian wines. The Salus Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Staglin Family Vineyard is the result of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (76%), Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (3%), and Petit Verdot (3%), and it’s aged for 20 months in French oak barrels, 92% of which are new. The wine has a deep color with intense dark fruit aromas on the nose. On the palate, it seduces with its softness and very fine tannins, which combine with subtle mineral notes. It has a delicate texture and a persistent and elegant finish. It makes a perfect partner for beef and venison stews.
Red Wine Starmont Pinot Noir 2018. Located in the historic Stanly Ranch, in the wine-growing region of Carneros, California, the Starmont winery is part of the Merryvale group. Here very expressive and approachable wines are produced from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes selected in vineyards of Napa Valley and Carneros. The winery focuses on green practices and it is very attentive to its environmental impact. The Pinot Noir grapes have been selected and hand-picked from multiple vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros. The wine shows therefore a strong regional character, with an important bond to the terroir and defined varietal features. After fermentation, the wine was aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, of which only 15% were new, to ensure a balanced integration of the wood without overwhelming the fruity scents. In the glass, the wine presents a light and brilliant ruby color. On the nose, the aromas of black cherry and kirsch are accompanied by sustained mineral, graphite notes and light earthy hints. In the mouth, the wine is medium-bodied with silky and persistent tannins and an elegant concentration of fruit. The finish is long and fine. It is the perfect wine in combination with duck, guinea fowl, or game birds.