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Lubanzi Chenin Blanc 2016

Lubanzi Chenin Blanc 2016

Here's a wine with a philanthropic twist. With the pledge to give back 50% of the profits to the hands that made it, Lubanzi is a relatively new brand—conceived of, and launched by two friends who met while studying abroad as exchange students at the University of Cape Town. Their first release, a 100% Chenin Blanc grown in decomposed granite & shale is on the delicate side. Aromas of lemon drop, pear and white flowers with a touch of dried spearmint, crowns this Swartland white. It's a fresh, deliciously crisp offering for $18 USD. 12.5% ABV | Sample Lubanzi Wines 9.0 Points  ...

Simonsig Tiara 2010

Simonsig Tiara 2010

A smoldering Bordeaux-blend, the 2010 Simonsig Tiara is a gripping tale—with rising, writhing notes of singed black cherries, mulberries, and blackberries couched in gamey, meatier tones of bacon fat, creosote, scorched earth, and wind-blown dust. It's terroir-driven, an expression that can only be South African—that captivating wildness that explodes and yet, has a kind of pent-up and dignified restraint that holds on, till it crests in a spice-laden finish. 14.7% ABV | Sample Simonsig 9.3 Points...

Lubanzi Red Blend 2015

Lubanzi Red Blend 2015

This is a new brand—yet to be released, and one that I see as part of the growing trend combining wine and philanthropy. Cape Venture was founded by two young men who fell in love with South Africa's rugged wine scene. They have pledged to give 50% of the winery's profits to back the Pebbles Project, an NGO that works with the low-income families who live and work on South Africa's wine farms. A slightly unruly blend of 46% Shiraz, 32% Cinsault, 20% Mourvedre and 3% Grenache, it's positively brimming with musky black cherries, spiced apple rings, fig newtons, earth, sweet tobacco, and a whiff of vanilla. It’s leaner than expected, with a savory palate built around a core of high-toned sour cherries and fine tannins. Lubanzi wines should be available soon at Whole Foods. Lubanzi Wines 9.0 Points ...

Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc 2015

Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc 2015

A surprise wine, tasted while visiting Betz Family Winery—sold in 2011 to Steve and Bridgit Griessel, a South African couple. In light of the unique partnership between the two families, such a collaboration is possible. The Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc quivers with decadent aromas of baked yellow apple, banana chips, dried pineapple, lemon curd, orange blossom and honeycomb. There is glycerol and body on the palate, and yet, there is an ethereal aspect to it too, made lighter by a spine of lively acid. 13.9% ABV | Sample Quinta Essentia Winery 9.2 Points...