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Stark-Conde Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa
  • WS91
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • JD91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • WS90
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Currently Unavailable $23.99
Try the 2015 Vintage 19 99
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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 flavor profiles to the grapes.

After 18 months barrel maturation the blend was assembled and put back to barrels for a further 4 months integration. Bottled unfined and unfiltered after 22 months barrel maturation.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Broad and rich, with a loamy underlay to the mulled black currant, roasted fig and singed mesquite notes. There's also a nice backdrop of spice and tobacco, with well-buried acidity on the finish. Rock-solid. Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2013 through 2020. 1,524 cases made.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A solid Cab at an attractive price. There's a lot going on in this sturctured and well-balanced wine. Aromas of black currant and licorice dominate the nose alongside secondary glimmers of black pepper and crushed violets, all framed with a sweet oak streak. Flavors of juicy black raspberry linger well into the finish, which gradually fades into gorgeous white pepper spice.
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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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With an important wine renaissance is 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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

CAR34769_08_2008 Item# 111612