July 21, 2011: South Africa and Chile Wines

Boekenhoutskloof is best-known at Spirits for their high-end red blend called “The Chocolate Block,” however, for the tasting we will try their entry-level, value label called “Wolf Trap.” These wines include a white, rose, and red, all of which are Rhone-inspired blends. Boekenhoutskloof is located in an area known as Cape of Good Hope, about a 40-minute drive from Cape Town, South Africa. The winery is named after a small farm that was established in 1776 by the French Hugenots, the first people to settle the area and plant fine wine grapes. The Wolftrap wines, all from the 2010 vintage, will be $9.99 tomorrow night.

Neil Ellis, mindful that no single vineyard can satisfy the needs of all grape varieties, set out to identify distinct terroir in which individual varieties will excel. Neil Ellis Winery is the result of four decades of dedication to environmentally friendly viticultural practices and the use of traditional winemaking methods. They aim to respect the soil, cut water use, recycle and reduce energy use and greenhouse emissions. Today, Neil’s son, Warren, is sharing responsibilities as winemaker and viticulturist. Tomorrow night we will sample their 2009 Groenekloof Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, which received 90 points in the Wine Spectator and will be $13.99 for the tasting (Neil Ellis visited Spirits Wine Cellar last year and presented a selection of his wines at a tasting- I’m sure some of you were there!).

Vina Leyda is a Chilean winery that is located 12 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean on the west side of the Coastal Mountain Range in Leyda Valley. Leyda’s most distinguishing characteristic is its location in a cool climate, coastal area with moderate rainy winters and dry summers. Currently, Leyda has over 622 acres of planted vines. They keep their yields to a low 2 tons per acre and craft their wines with the goal of attaining the full potential of Leyda’s unique terroir and ensuring the highest quality end-product. For the tasting we will sample their newly released 2010 vintage Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; both will be $9.99 tomorrow night.

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Vina Leyda Classic Chardonnay 2010
Leyda Valley, Chile. A fresh and fruit-forward style that fermented and aged in stainless steel tank. The wine was left on its lees for six months and stirred regularly for added roundness and volume. On the nose, ripe citrus and kiwi fruit scents are abundant with tropical notes and hints of mineral and honeysuckle. It is nicely textured with sweet fruit flavors, nice balance and a juicy finish.

Vina Leyda Classic Pinot Noir 2010
Leyda Valley, Chile. After fermentation, half of the wine aged in French oak for six months, while the other half aged in stainless steel. Altogether the wine aged for ten months prior to bottling. This cool-climate Pinot Noir is fresh and unique with an expressive nose of cherry and strawberry fruit with hints of spice. It offers complex earthy notes and mineral hints on the palate with red fruit flavors and herbaceous qualities. The finish is bright with lively acidity.

Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Stellenbosch, South Africa. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Groenekloof Vineyard that fermented and aged in stainless steel and aged on the lees for three months prior to bottling. This lively, complex, and terroir-driven example offers a fragrant nose of tropical fruit, chalk, wet stone, green grass, and fresh herbs. It it juicy, flavorful, and elegant on the palate with bright citrus and tropical fruit suggestions and a long, mouthwatering finish. 2,000 cases imported. 90 Wine Spectator.

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap White 2010

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. A blend of 67% Viognier, 19% Chenin Blanc, and 14% Grenache Blanc. The Viognier is sourced from Malmesbury, the Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, and the Grenache Blanc from the Piekenierskloof near Citrusdal. The Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc aged in French oak; the Viognier aged in stainless steel and was blended in prior to bottling. Lime, gooseberry, stone, and floral hints are followed by a juicy and crisp palate with firm acid and a refreshing finish.

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Rose 2010
Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. A blend of Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache that fermented and aged in stainless steel. This rose was made using the saignee method (a method in which the red wine vats are “bled” of free run juice, therefore concentrating the juice left in the vats). Aromas of cranberry, strawberry, and pepper/spice are followed by a juicy palate with berry fruit and watermelon flavors, and a savory, spicy finish. 1,000 cases imported.
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Red 2010
Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. A Rhone-style blend of 65% Syrah, 32% Mourvedre, and 3% Viognier. The Syrah and Mourvedre come from Malmesbury vineyard and aged in French oak barrel; the Viognier aged in stainless steel and was blended into the cuvee prior to bottling. Spicy/peppery scents are enhanced with notes of black fruits, earth, and a hint of violet. Flavors of ripe berry fruits coat the palate followed by a juicy finish.

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