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Delaire Graff Cabernet/Merlot 1999

    750ML / 0% ABV
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    750ML / 0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Selected from low-yielding vineyards. The result is a juicy fruit-riot of intense blackcurrant and black cherries wrapped in spice and vanillas. Hints of mint on the nose, delicious nutty chocolate flavors and ripe rewarding tannins.

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    Delaire Graff

    Delaire Graff

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    Delaire Graff, South Africa
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    Delaire Graff Estate is situated in Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s most historic and prestigious wine region. Founded by Simon van der Stel in 1679, Simon brought a sound knowledge of viticulture, the art of wine making – fostering a tradition that has grown from strength to strength through the centuries. In 1982 John Platter, well known wine writer, bought Delaire, then known as Avontuur. Looking at the magnificent view, he decided to rename the farm Delaire Estate, meaning “From the Sky”. Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International acquired the estate in 2003 and vowed to transform it into South Africa’s most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination. Delaire Graff Estate aims for red wines that are big in structure with soft tannins and elegance, and white wines which capture the freshness of the harvest. With one of the most advanced cellars in the Southern Hemisphere, which became operational in 2008, in just three years the Estate can be comfortably rated as one of the top ten wine producers in South Africa.

    Delaire, known for its high altitude vineyards, excellent soils and cooling sea breezes, is situated on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass, overlooking the Banhoek Valley. The 44 hectare vineyard is framed by the mighty Simonsberg and Groot Drakenstein Mountains. With its rugged mountain slopes, Delaire experiences variances in altitude which range from approximately 300 to 500 m above sea level. This creates microclimates conducive to making multi-layered, complex wines. Winemaker Bruwer Raats says, "We farm with nature as our partner and here on Delaire, we are blessed with mainly Hutton and some Clovelly soils".

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    With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” 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, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing 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 brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

    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 red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy 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 close behind.

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

    Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

    Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

    LIM140860799_1999 Item# 60616

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