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Flat front label of wine

Bayten Buitenverwachting Riesling 2004

Riesling from South Africa
    0% ABV
    • WS88
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    Winemaker Notes

    This off-dry wine was made in a Mosel style and offers pink grapefruit as well as fresh notes of Granny Smith apples. Displays an elegant, nutty mouthfeel, with good acidity and notes of pepper. Has an elegant sweet-sour finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bayten

    Bayten

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    Bayten, South Africa
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    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.

    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.

    Riesling

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    A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

    In the Glass

    Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

    Perfect Pairings

    Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

    Sommelier Secret

    It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

    LIM114262704_2004 Item# 83873