Tokara Director's Reserve Red 2017
The wine has stunning depth of color. Displaying intense garnet center and a ruby rim. The nose is shy at first then opens up to a melange of red and black fruits with hints of dried herbs, Eucalyptus, cedar wood and graphite. The wine enters the palate with amazing clarity. The flavors are those of dark cherries, raspberries and black currant. There is a hint of herbal spice on the mid-palate which leads to fine, firm tannins on the finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Rich and intense blackberry and cherry notes with earthy forest floor and brooding spice. Dark and smoky palate.
Made from a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2017 Director's Reserve Red begins dark ruby at its core with a lighter ruby edge. The nose bursts with a ripe, red-fruited essence, elements of sweet tobacco and juicy black raspberry, with a subtle green note under that juicy fruit richness. Medium to full-bodied, the wine offers complex layers of dusty and juicy fruit, before gripping tannins sway with energetic acidity across the mid-palate. The wine concludes with a delightful texture and dusty mouthfeel that will continue to deliver pleasure well past its 10th birthday. Just under 28,000 bottles were filled. Rating: 90+
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.