Tokara Director's Reserve Red 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Cabernet-dominated with 29% of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, this is a very stylish Simonsberg red blend that has the balance and concentration that are typical of the best 2015s. Savoury and complex with layers of tobacco, earth and red fruits and refined oak. 2020-30
Perfume, cocoa, thyme, complex. Sweetly ripe, silkily soft and genteel in the mouth with wonderfully integrated oak. Feels effortless.
A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Director's Reserve Red has a robust nose of dark fruits, graphite, French oak and subtle hints of smoked herbs. The palate is structured with red and black fruit and a mineral backbone with integrated oak expression. It is complex with skillfully managed tannins and a long finish. This is a lovely and simply delicious wine. It aged almost two years in 63% new French oak and 26,490 bottles were made. Rating: 91+
Tokara, situated on the crest of the Helshoogte Pass in South Africa, produces innovative and distinctive wines under the Tokara and ZONDERNAAM labels as well as a limited edition five year pot still Brandy.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.