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Tag Archive | "south africa wine"

Golden Kaan 3-way Review

Golden Kaan winery in South Africa is located in that country’s famous Western Cape wine-growing region and has done a lot for South Africa’s wine presence amongst the world-wide market. 

One of the things you’ll notice about most of their wines is that they’re very affordable and that’s a key point for many folks in this current downed economic times.

2007 Chenin Blanc – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol vol: 14,2 % vol
  • pH: 3,40
  • Total acidity: 5,59 g/ l
  • Sugar: 3,52 g/ l
  • Price: $10

Nose: Dusty lemon peel with honey, rose pedals, orange zest and week-old cheerios.

Taste: Layers of lavender, lemons, starfruit, oyster shell and seawater. Good, clean finish on this wine, however, it doesn’t linger too awfully long but it’s still good – for the price, it’s definitely a wine worth checking out. 

2006 Pinotage- W.E.P. – Rating: 85%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol vol: 14,0 % vol
  • pH: 3,52
  • Total acidity: 5,62 g/ l
  • Sugar: 5,38 g/ l
  • $10

Nose: Bacon fat, blackberry, black cherry, star anise, cumin, corriander, tomatosauce.

Taste: Smoked black fruits, black liquorice, tobacco, dark chocolate on the flavor profile for me. Decent tannin structure holds the fruit in check, however, the finish is way too short.

2007 Shiraz – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol vol: 14,11 % vol
  • pH: 3,47
  • Total acidity: 5,56 g/ l
  • Sugar: 5,5 g/ l
  • Price: $10

Nose: Freshly-killed game with black pepper, blueberry and black cherry. 

Taste: Dirty black-fruits mashed up with sweet-tarts, black pepper, venison, tar-bubbles and pomagranate. Firm tannins show the youth of this wine and also turn a bit flabby on the back-end but still a pretty decent effort for the money. The finish is okay – not superb, but good.

Winery Website: www.goldenkaan.com

The spirit of Africa inspired me to cook the following dish:

I did some grilled chicken which I spiced up with yellow curry, cinnamon and garlic – on the side is some basmati rice with rasins and black beans – I also grilled a tomato with olive oil, salt&pepper then topped the entire dish with fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Posted in Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Reviews, South Africa Wines, SyrahComments (0)

Golden Kaan 05′ Chard & 07′ Sauv Blanc

Winery Link

Golden Kaan is the joint effort of KWV of South Africa and Racke of Germany – it’s now a global brand which pays homage to South Africa and has been getting some good press lately one some of its wines. Established in 1918, KWV has been a huge player in South African wine and has been a huge force in helping get that region “on the map” and palate of wine drinkers everywhere.


Click on image to enlarge

South Africa – as a region – has really ramped it up quite a bit over the past few years and I’ve found that many folks – like myself – can easily gravitate towards a lot of the white wines coming out of it.

There’s a good sense of overall minerality in this region which reminds me of some of the whites out of places like New Zealand – and I’m diggin’ that.


Click on image to enlarge

2007 Sauvignon Blanc: Price: $10 W.E.P. Score: 100%

Technical Notes:

  • Alcohol vol: 12.36 % vol
  • pH: 3.45
  • Total acidity: 5.61 g/ l
  • Sugar: 5.16 g/ l
  • Climate: Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters, of approximately 600–800 mm rain per annum.
  • Soil: Table Mountain sandstone and Malmesbury shale.

Nose: Mildew covered river rocks mixed with freshly-cut grass and grapefruit peel. I also pick up some cement dust and hints of apricots.

Taste: Excellent acidity/fruit combination that rips across the front and mid palate – It’s a judo-chop to the taste buds – exploding with mango and hints of kiwi and starfruit. Finishes VERY dry with little lemon drops and I’m digging that.

2005 Chardonnay: Price: $10 W.E.P. Score: 100%

Technical Notes:

  • Alcohol vol: 13.53%
  • pH: 3.50
  • Total acidity: 5.50 g/l
  • Sugar: 6.46 g/l
  • Climate: Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters, of approximately 600 – 800 mm or rain per year.
  • Soil: Table Mountain sandstone and Malmesbury shale.
  • Vinification: Full ripe grapes were crushed and the juice fermented in a combination of second fill French oak barrels and on French oak staves in stainless steel tanks. Lees contact of about 2 months were allowed.
  • Winemaker: Sterik deWet

Nose: Creamsickle component mixed in with some meyer apples and a bit of earthy minerals. Some nice floral components on the back-end of the nose help round it out – very pleasant. Ivory soap.

Taste: Very viscous mouth feel and a ton of apple coming thru which is quickly followed with lightly toasted nuts, grilled pineapple and hints of lime.

Overall Summary:
Each one of these wines brings a fun, fresh experience to their respective varieties and are wines I’d highly encourage you to seek out – you can usually find them for around the $8 mark thanks to industry post-off and retailer discounts etc.

Golden Kaan completely nailed the quality and experience these wines bring to the table – its low use of oak is always good as it helps keep the quality of the fruit dancing through on the palate.

For only $10, these are a couple of white’s i’d easily recommend to folks who are looking to get off the “Oak-bus-express” of overly oaked wines and want a good halfway-point to going to completely unoaked wines as their palate improves.

Foods I’d hit with these:
Shellfish
Sea Bass
Creamy Pastas
Clam Chowder
Roasted Chicken

Posted in Chardonnay, Reviews, Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa WinesComments (0)

Golden Kaan 2004 Pinotage

There’s no doubt some exciting things happening in South Africa – it’s a region which has definitely garnered worldwide attention as a great growing region. One of the interesting developments over the past few years has been the rising of a grape called Pinotage. This varietal is signature a grape to South Africa – it’s a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut.


Click on image to enlarge

Golden Kaan is a South African producer which prides itself in producing Pinotage and has won numerous awards for some of its wine. It prides itself in hand-picking grapes grown in the western cape – an area known in those parts as being one of the best around.

For a quick overview of that country’s regions, here’s a handy map:


Click on image to enlarge

I picked up this bottle at a local store as I’m always curious to try different regions and varietals. It was around $8-9, which is very approachable for most people’s budgets.

Color:
Very Pinot-esque in its color, medium to light-colored reds – if you think Pinot Noir color, you’re close to this one.

Nose:
Here it goes – you take some pasture manure (or pete moss), have a horse pee on it, then pour bacon drippings on and finally smear it with peanut butter with roasted plums and that’s what you have going on with the nose in this glass.

Taste: A very awkward taste with abosolutely no good mid-palate or lingering flavors at all. This is a very “grocery-store” wine and in fact, I felt a bit insulted drinking it. It’s completely unfocused and disjointed in about every sense.

Overall Summary:
A major pass on this one – I’d avoid it like the plague and look to other wines in this price range to bring some winefoot-worthy action.

This is my opinion but you should try it if you get the chance and ultimately embrace your own palate.

W.E.P. Score – 10%

Posted in Pinotage, Reviews, South Africa WinesComments (0)

$10 and under Wine Recommendations

So I’ve been trying a lot of different wines lately and purposely trying to step away from my comfort zone of Washington Wines and have really started taking a more serious look at other countries for some alternatives and to taste the various regions in what they have to offer.

For awhile I was caught up into the whole price thing – as if somehow the price of a wine will make it taste better. Sure there are great wines at prices well above $25 dollars but who can afford to drink those on a daily or weekly basis? That really got me started on this path I’m on now to find some of the best wines possible for $10 dollars or under. Yes, they do exist and I’m trying my best to help weed out the crappy ones on both yours and my own behalf.

When you get time, you should read this article that talks about how the price of wine can influence people into thinking a wine is good or bad:

I’ve been on a virtual world-tour lately of wine which branches from Italy to France to New Zealand to Argentina and have found there are some really great values out there which deserve your attention.

Here are my tops picks right now:

- 2005 Naiara Malbec – Argentina – $9
From the country of Argentina which is currently selling for about $9 bux here at the local Fred Meyer who recently got it in. If your favorite store doesn’t have it, you should see if they can order it or seek a store out which has a wine steward in it and I’m sure they can order it.Malbec is a grape varietal from the Bordeaux region of France which unfortunately is mainly used for blending purposes and is rarely made as a straight-up bottle of wine. It has a thicker skin than cabernet or merlot grapes and does extremely well in the growing conditions of Argentina. In fact, you could say that this varietal alone is really putting Argentina on the map of the wine world and they’re doing some tremendous things with it.

As these wines catch on we’ll see the prices start to slowly climb with demand so make sure to get in early on the wave of excellent Malbec wines from this region.

There’s some tobacco components coming through on the nose along with dark plum, a slight hint of vanilla, soil, cinnamon and smoked paprika. Mix that up with a very slight hint of sweaty arm-pit and you have an intense aroma that is very pleasant.

This wine will pair VERY well with any hearty pasta and red sauce dish or veal. I’d also have no problems having it with Meatballs and fresh parmesan cheese. It has an incredibly rich purple color to it and is very pleasant on the nose. I would even drink this wine with a spice-rubbed, grilled flank steak using Cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon and garlic powder.

- 2006 Cavatappi Sangiovese – Mattawa WA – $10
Forget any pre-conceived ideas you may have about affordable Sangiovese wine because the flavor of this scrumptious wine tosses out the rule book (and burns it to be never found again) on what we’ve come to expect from so many of the Italian-style Sangiovese wines. Rather than having the bright fruit on the palate like so many wines of this heritage have, this one tastes like an old sock left out in the mud for two weeks, filled with wet cedar chips. I like it!

Dark, earthy notes of this wine make it an obvious choice for fall stews and hearty soups. I’d have no problems pairing it with beef stew, pot roast and rosemary, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and even braised lamb shank. If you want to stick with the pasta, I’d go for ricotta-cheese and veal-stuffed ravioli with and herbal-infused red sauce and grated truffles. (you could substitute any good, “earthy” mushroom here if you’re on a budget such as cramini (baby Portobello).

- 2005 Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc– South Africa
If you’re interested in tasting other parts of the world then you owe it to yourself to seek this wine out. Here’s a white wine that has some really good structure, balance and acidity that make it a shoe-in for shellfish or fresh-water trout.

Unlike most American-made Chenin Blanc I’ve had, this one has a ton of mineral deposit flavors in it, almost like sucking on a rock from a crystal-clear river in the Mountains. Balance that with some good fruit on the mid-palate, floral fragrance on the nose and you have the makings for a great wine that will surely delight those who enjoy seafood.

- 2001 Bosco “R” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Italian Red Wine – Italy – $9
Okay, so here’s a wine that completely blind-sided me and it’s from Costco of all places – No I can’t pronounce the name very well but who cares? You could call it anything but late to dinner. If you want a bold wine with TONS of flavor of dark plums, deep red, soiled cherries with a slight hint of oak, than this is your wine. It has a scrumptious mouth-feel – very velvety – and the finish is quite long.

I would easily pair this with any kind of meats which have been stewed or braised in red wine and of course any red-sauced pasta dish. This wine will hold up VERY well to incredibly rich dishes as well and on top of that, it’ll also compliment all sorts of grilled, hearty meats. Grilled corn on the cob with a bit of charring on it, dirty rice, roasted potatoes with Rosemary, oregano and Extra Virgin Olive Oil would make great sides.

Again, this is my opinion – you should really try this wine for yourself and as always – embrace your own palate.

Posted in Chenin Blanc, Italian Wines, Reviews, Sangiovese, South Africa Wines, Washington WinesComments (0)