July Featured Wines – The Little Gazelle, Sauvignon Blanc (2021) & DeMorgenzon, DMZ Syrah (2018), South Africa

Wine Club has not tasted wines from South Africa for some time. Summer seemed a perfect time to revisit. Most consider South African wines to be New World although many of the varietals – and there are many produced – are considered Old World. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely planted varietals but as we learned from Barista Pinotage, there are some unique wines produced.

This month’s selections are The Little Gazelle Sauvignon Blanc (2021) and DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah (2018.) These will acquaint you with well-appreciated varietals that are not as widely produced.

The Little Gazelle Sauvignon Blanc has a clever label (similar to The Little Sheep wines.) This is no coincidence since both of these wines are produced and imported by Monsieur Touton, one of our suppliers. Monsieur Touton’s connections in the wine world give him the opportunity to buy excess “juice” for lack of a better term. Through his friendships with producers, he buys surplus quality wines that he finds represent that region’s varietals. This is the case of South Africa’s The Little Gazelle Sauvignon Blanc which is from the Coastal Region.

DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah comes from another producer based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This region has terraced hillside vineyards with views of both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. DeMorgenzon selects grapes from vineyards that show the best quality of the chosen varietal. Both wines will offer pleasant wines for summer enjoyment. One is light for fish and salads and one is great for rich barbequed beef.

The Little Gazelle, Sauvignon Blanc (2021), South Africa $10

This Sauvignon Blanc is described like a shy gazelle, simple yet refreshingly friendly. The wine is green and flinty but with fresh citrus, apple, melon, fig, and peach notes on the palate. It is a refreshingly, delicious summer wine. Pair with seafood, grilled chicken, and light appetizers. It is also a great complement to a salad with goat cheese. Alcohol: 12.5%

DeMorgenzon, DMZ Syrah (2018), Stellenbosch, South Africa $17

This Syrah has a deep, purple core with a rich, berry fruit nose with lots of ripe, red plum and whiffs of white pepper. There is some gentle oak integration which shows and supports the elegance and roundness. This wine is considered bold and structured with this vintage getting great scores. A perfect BBQ complement. Alcohol: 14%

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%

March Featured Wines – 2017 Good Hope Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape, South Africa & 2016 Good Hope Pinotage, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

2017 Good Hope Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa     $10

Good Hope Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa is sourced from a 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in the Western Cape region east of Cape Town. It typifies the Southern Hemisphere style with depth and crispness. This is a nice dry wine that goes with foods with distinctive seasoning or it may be enjoyed as an easy “sipper.” Alcohol: 12.5%


2016 Good Hope Vineyards Pinotage, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa    $10

Good Hope Vineyards Pinotage, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa is an easy drinking Pinotage, South Africa’s signature varietal. While many associate this grape with Pinot Noir, that is a misconception. Pinotage more closely resembles Syrah. It is deeply colored, high in tannins and has a decent amount of acidity which makes it perfect to pair with bold foods – Indian curry, spicy sausages. Alcohol: 14%

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%

July Featured Wines – 2014 Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc & 2013 Southern Right Pinotage, South Africa

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2014 Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc, Walker Bay, South Africa      $14

This Sauvignon Blanc is produced by Hamilton Russell Vineyards, one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea in South Africa. It is a crisp, dry and juicy Sauvignon Blanc  with generous tropical fruit and racy acidity. This fresh, bright and lively wine has good depth and nice length. This is a great summer wine for shellfish, fish or light chicken dishes. Alcohol: 13%


2013 Southern Right Pinotage, Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, South Africa        $24

Wine Spectator gives this vintage 90 points due to the ripe and stylish presentation of the varietal with a blend of 92.2 % Pinotage, 4.4% Malbec, 2.3% Syrah and Petit Verdot 1.1%  With this vintage Southern Right is re-defining Pinotage as a intense classically styled, clay-grown wine, packed with complex berry fruit, beautiful tannins and subtle wood spice. This wine has full ripeness and the longer hang-time afforded by cooler sites, combined with the complex, more classic fruit aromas and structure resulting from clay-rich soil, make this wine a highly individual expression of South Africa’s unique grape variety. Yes, this is a great summer wine to uncork for grilled barbecued ribs and hamburgers.  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%