Bayten Buitenverwachting Riesling 2006
Riesling from South Africa
Rooted in deep, decomposing granite soils and cooled by temperate sea breezes from the nearby oceans, Buitenverwachting's vines produce internationally acclaimed wines of great complexity with unique aromatic profiles.
Wine Spectator - "Solid, with crunchy lime, pippen apple and mineral notes and a tangy, refreshing finish. This could also age a bit. Drink now through 2008."
Bayten (formerly known as Buitenverwachting) was part of the original Constantia estate founded in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Dutch Colony at the Cape. One of South Africa’s premier estates, this beautiful farm is situated on the east-facing slopes of the magnificent Constantiaberg Mountain, just south of Cape Town and a few miles from False Bay.
Today under the guidance of current proprietor Lars Maack, the winery has earned a reputation as the source of some of South Africa’s most exquisite, mineral-tinged white wines. Bayten is a Dutch word that means "beyond expectation." Cellarmaster Herman Kirschbaum and winemaker Brad Paton continue to craft stunning wines that deliver on that promise to exhilarate the senses.
Constantia is one of the few wine-growing areas in South Africa which does not need to rely on irrigation, thanks to significant winter rainfall. Bayten's vineyards, planted on a variety of ancient decomposed granite soils, are dry farmed, with an average yield of five tons per hectare. The farm embraces a variety of holistic farming practices. A portion of the estate has been dedicated to a conservancy in order to preserve indigenous flora and fauna, and a section of the vineyards is currently undergoing organic certification. View all Bayten Wines
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A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is coming around. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and SA bottles began showing up on US shelves.
White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, much of it the Steen variety – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape gaining some raves is Sauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends was once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, which used to be a grape only your mother could love, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. The most popular regions of the country include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
About South AfricaRelated Links:
Notable FactsWhite wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.