July Featured Wines – 2017 Rustenberg Winery, Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa & 2017 Barista Pinotage, Western Cape, South Africa


2017 Rustenberg Winery, Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa  $11

This is the maiden vintage of Chenin Blanc produced by Rustenberg. While Chenin Blanc has not been planted on the estate since the late 1980’s there is an abundance of superb bush vine Chenin Blanc in Stellenbosch, which was discovered in sourcing fruit for Rustenberg’s  Straw Wine each vintage. Grapes were hand harvested from 4 different bush vine blocks, 20 to 35 years old, in the Bottelary sub-region of Stellenbosch. It is 100% Chenin Blanc grown in Alluvial Gravels and Clay. This wine is a Rustenberg take on a varietal synonymous with South Africa. It has aromas of pineapple and yellow pear which follow through to a crisp, textured palate complemented by characters of citrus 13.5%


2017 Barista Pinotage, Western Cape, South Africa $14

In the unique world of creating distinctive wines, winemaker Bertus Fourie is a legend. He earned the nickname ‘Starbucks’ for his exceptional skill in producing the coffee-flavored Barista Pinotage. Intense on the nose, with a bouquet of coffee, chocolate and cherry, with subtle savoury hints this Pinotage says deep black fruit with a sumptuous nose. The tannins are ripe, perfectly suiting the round and mouth-filling plum and mulberry fruit. Drink on its own or with red meat dishes or your favorite pizza. This is a wine that stands up to summer barbecue beef. Alcohol: 13.5%

Featured Wine in July – 2015 Cape Original Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc & 2015 Indaba Mosaic Red Blend, Western Cape, South Africa

Cape Original label

2015 Cape Original Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa $9

Cape Original Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc blends 5% Grenache Blanc grapes with 95% Chenin Blanc, South Africa’s most widely planted white grape. This blend lends characteristics of Rhone Valley whites with the Grenache Blanc adding body. Together, the Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc make a fruity match with lots of lemon and tropical fruit flavors. This wine is a simple sipper  with crudites or it can pair with grilled fish.Alcohol: 12.5%


Indaba Mosaic

2015 Indaba Mosaic Red Blend, Western Cape, South Africa $12

2015 Indaba Mosaic Red Blend combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon dominates this Bordeaux blend offering enticing aromas and succulent flavors of blackcurrant, ripe brambly berry fruit and dark chocolate, with subtle spice notes. This red has soft, gentle tannins. With summer menus this will pair with grilled beef or chicken. Alcohol: 14%

Wines of the Month – 2011 Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc & 2010 Mulderbosch “Faithful Hound” Red Blend, Stellenbosch, South Africah

bottle shot of Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc

2011 Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa                    $13

Stellenbosch, South Africa’s most famous wine region, is home to Mulderbosch Vineyards founded in 1989 just before Nelson Mandela opened the South African wine industry to the world. Mulderbosch is now owned by Terrior Capital, a California investment company lead by Charles Black, a well known wine investor who sees great value in South African wines.

The white selection is Mulderbosch 2011 Chenin Blanc. This is a light, crisp white with a powerful nose of guava, lime and pear. It has a very soft, round  feel mid-palate even with such definitive  fruit-forward first taste.  The finish has a hint of spice so this is an all around great food wine. Partner it with shellfish, grilled tuna, herb roasted chicken, or vegetable stews. Alcohol: 13.5%



bottle shot of Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Bordeaux Blend

2010 Mulderbosch “Faithful Hound” Red Blend,            Stellenbosch,  South Africa                   $22

Mulderbosch 2010 “Faithful Hound.” This is a 5 varietal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot created as a tribute to Boes,  the loyal dog who kept watch over the Mulderbosch farm for nearly three years after his owner’s death. With almost 50% Cabernet Sauvignon  the medium body of this wine brings well-developed fruit to the forefront. It has a clean, dark cherry and cassis-scented bouquet with just a hint of espresso. On the palate it is medium-bodied but has distinct tannins on the entry. This is a great pairing for beef or duck. Alcohol: 14%


Wines of the Month – 2011 Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc & 2008 Dry Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Featured Wines for February – 2011 Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg, CA & 2009 Dry Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley, CA

Label for Dry Creek Vineyards 2011 Chenin Blanc

2011 Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg, California     $12

Dry Creek Vineyard is one of the few remaining family owned wineries left in California. With more than 40 years of grape growing and winemaking experience, the Stare family efforts continue to focus on the quality of wine in the bottle. Dry Creek’s Chenin Blanc consistently receives “best buy” and exceptional reviews. In 2012 this wine  was in the Top 10 of the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition. Winemaker Comments:  ” The 2011 vintage perfectly represents our love for this wonderful grape variety.   Fragrant aromas of pineapple, white peach, melon and citrus leap from the glass.  A few swirls reveal an underlying minerality, even some chalky notes, which are an ode to the variety’s Loire Valley roots.  The palate expresses soft apple characters, zesty citrus and a wonderful sense of balance and freshness.”  This is certainly a lovely crisp, dry wine for warmer weather, but I find this the perfect wine for winter’s salty seaside oysters – raw, roasted, fried or stewed. Alcohol: 12.5%


2008 Dry Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley, California                         $25

Dry Creek produces a Bordeaux style blend that receives solid reviews from Wine Enthusiast– the 2007 received a 90 and the 2008 a 91. The blend is  79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc – all produced from the Dry Creek Valley region. Winemaker Comments: “The 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon displays elegant aromas of raspberry, sage and dried flowers. On the palate, the flavors intermingle with black cherry and chocolate creating a mouthful of silky, well-integrated tannins. With some airing, the wine fleshes out even more providing dimension, depth and length. The finish lingers on for more than a minute with fine tannins that are very elegant and structured. Simply delicious!” As a Baltimore Ravens fan I hope to let this wine breathe and enjoy it on Super Bowl Sunday. This is a wine for a special winter day! Alcohol: 14.5%