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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code MARCHNEW30

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Warwick Estate Three Cape Ladies 2005

Other Red Blends from South Africa
  • WE90
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • JS90
  • RP90
  • WE91
  • WS91
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • WS91
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

Each component distinctly displays its own qualities. This vintage shows great ripe red and black berry flavors on the nose as well as Mocha flavors. The Pinotage is soft and sweet while the Merlot and Shiraz offers a subtle spiciness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the backbone of the blend with well balanced, smooth tannins that will do well with cellaring. Full on the palate with good length on the finish. This blend brings the best of Pinotage to the classic French varieties.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
The union of Pinotage, Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot showcases the best of each grape, offering blackberry, spice and mocha on the nose and flavors of ripe red fruit, pepper and cedar on the palate. Pinotage makes a soft and subtle show here, adding fruity heft without the angles. An elegant wine with a lot of personality.
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Warwick Estate

Warwick Estate

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Warwick Estate, South Africa
2005 Three Cape Ladies
Warwick Estate lies in a valley enclosed by the Simonsberg, Kanonkop and Klapmutskop. Originally part of a vast piece of land known as "Good Success", this eighteenth century farm belonged to Colonel Alexander Gordon who renamed his portion in honour of the Warwickshire regiment which he commanded during the Boer War.

Years later in 1964, Stan Ratcliffe bought Warwick, where, with considerable foresight he began planting the precious Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which are still a major part of the production today. These vines produced high quality grapes and became highly sought after by wholesalers and other wineries. However, it took the arrival of Norma Ratcliffe, Stan's beautiful and energetic wife, in 1971 for the family to begin making a few experimental wines from Cabernet Sauvignon. The early results were very encouraging and served to extol the virtues of what is surely some of the best terroir in South Africa.

Michael Ratcliffe, Norma's son, has now taken over as proprietor in Stan's retirement and has wasted no time in stamping his personality on the Estate. A host of new innovative techniques, learnt during his postgraduate wine studies in Australia, are being implemented aimed at maximizing the potential of the Warwick terroir. Under Michael's leadership, the Warwick team is striving to take the next step in quality.

South Africa

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The South African wine renaissance is in full swing. Impressive red and white bargains abound. South Africa has a long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

EPC15730_2005 Item# 102207