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Flat front label of wine

Stark-Conde Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa
  • WS90
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • JD91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • WE90
  • WS90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The grapes for this wine are from 4 different cabernet vineyards and our best merlot and cabernet franc vineyards, all at a mix of different elevations. Although all are on the decomposed granite soils typical of the hillsides in Jonkershoek, the soil textures vary quite a lot and that, together with the differences in elevations and clones, gives a variety of different flavour profiles to the grapes.

This is the first year that we included Petit Verdot in the blend. Bottled unfined and unfiltered after 22 months barrel maturation.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
This cuts a broad swath, with dark plum, blackberry and currant paste notes laced with mint, black tea and mocha. The big, rich, toasty finish offers lots of character. Drink now through 2013. 550 cases imported.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Cigar box and mulberry spice aromas lead the nose of this Cab, with fruity notes of black berry and cassis providing the backdrop. Full and lush in the mouth, the ripe black fruit carries through to the finish alongside accents of roasted coffee grounds. 550 cases imported.
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Stark-Conde

Stark-Conde

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Stark-Conde, South Africa
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I never went to school to study winemaking but rather did my time reading books and experimenting along the way. I'm pretty stubborn, which turns out to be a good thing.

Crafting wine requires patience and the crazy belief that the shortest line drawn between two points may not always be the right one. Take a simple task like fruit-sorting. That's when we meticulously go through all the de-stemmed berries to pick out any under-ripe or bird-damaged fruit, leaves, stems and other MOG (Matter Other than Grapes). During harvest. there comes a point when everyone's exhausted and baskets of grapes keep coming. It's even debatable how much difference sorting will make in the end. That's when the stubborn kicks in.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one having so much fun. We stick to traditional winemaking methods; we ferment our juice in open tanks, do hand-punchdowns around the clock, basket press, and mature the wines in small French oak barrels. The name Stark-Condé is a simple marriage of my wife's family name and my own.
- José Conde, winemaker

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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

EPC18064_2007 Item# 110717