South Africa

South African Red Wines

South Africa has a wonderful vibrant red wine industry. It is considered "new world" by many although actually dates back to the mid 17th century when French Huguenots settled there and planted vines. Historic centres like the beautiful Franschoek valley still bear many French names for the properties and wine farms. It is stunningly beautiful and a fabulous place for a holiday if you are fortunate enough to visit.

The South African red wine industry has gone through something of a revolution since apartheid ended when most wine production was bulk wine run by the state. Now there are many artisan wineries producing excellent wines, with around 600 wineries in Stellenbosch alone. Some are pretty big operations running accomodation and restaurants, some are tiny, literally husband and wife teams.

We import wines directly from some of these tiny artisan family wineries. They are great quality and exceptional value for money. We also source some of the top wines from some of the more famous larger wineries such as Ernie Els and Tokara through their established UK agents. With the South African Rand remiaing weak, South African red wine is currently unbeatable value for money.

We strongly recommend you try some of our boutique wines from these small artisan wineries, in particular those from Grangehurst, Joubert Tradauw, Gande Provence, Boplaas and Rainbow's End.

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  1. Jean Daneel Signature Red

    Jean Daneel Signature Red 2015 is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz aged in French barriques for 28 months.

    It is fabulous. Delicious flavours with good natural acidity, very long finish and absolutely velvet smooth.

    This is a beauty!

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: No

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £27.00
  2. Jean Daneel Directors Red

    Jean Daneel Directors Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot matured in 500 litre oak barrels thhen matured in small first use barriques for 24 months.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: No

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £34.99
  3. The Fledge & Co Elgin Pinot Noir

     

     Leon's top Pinot Noir - this is a special wine!

     

    Free sulphur: 27mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £19.99
  4. The Fledge & Co Tinto

    An exciting new red made from two traditional Portuguese varieties with a drop of Shiraz.

     

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 39mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £13.99
  5. The Fledge & Co Red Blend

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    Hand harvested grapes, traditionally fermented in lagars then aged in oak for 30 months.

    This is a beauty. Big and powerful with red and black fruit flavours, wonderfully smooth with well integrated oak and natural acidity. Delicious on it's own or would pair well with red meats or casseroles.

    Highly recommended!

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 21mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £22.99
  6. The Fledge & Co Stellenbosch Cabernet

    This is the maiden release of this new artisan wine which Leon just launched in Johannesburg at the end of August. He produced just 1880 bottles.

    Leon says it is still tight so will benefit from decanting. 

    Delicious! Deep ruby opaque. Black fruit initially with some lighter red fruit toward the finish and integrated but noticeable oak. Good weight on the palate and super smooth. I decanted it to give it some air but I reckon it'd be a great wine to savour throughout an evening from freshly opened to fully aerated. Ideal in front of a log fire!

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 41mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £22.99
  7. The Fledge & Co Syrah

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    This is Syrah grown on shale at a secret vineyard Leon has been watching for the last seven years. He added a small amount of Viognier from the neighbouring vineyard too. Hand harvested in the early hours of the morning, fermented in open top cement lagars then aged for nine months in French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

    Again very French in style. The wine is ruby red and crystal clear. On the palate it is medium bodied with good mouthfeel. Some lovely red fruit flavours initially then there is a lift from the viognier toward the long finish. Perfect balance throughout. This is a classy wine, again not a blockbuster, but elegant and delicious.

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 25mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  8. The Fledge & Co Katvis Pinot Noir

    2017 just landed!

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    A blend of 3 different clones of Pinot Noir from 3 different regions - Grabouw, Elgin and Karoo. All were hand harvested and cool fermented in cement lagars to retain the fruit before being matured for 9 months in old French oak hogsheads prior to blending. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

    This wine is medium to light bodied. Very pure and elegant with delicate flavours and a lift on the finish from good acidity making it an ideal food wine. This is very French in style for a South African, not a big hitter. but very good wine for those wanting a lighter red.

     

    Free sulphur: 21mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  9. Rainbows End Mystical Corner

    Rainbows End Mystical Corner is a blend this vintage consisting of Shiraz 6%, Malbec 20%, Cabernet Sauvignon 66% and Petit Verdot 8%. It's a great wine as are all Rainbows End wines. Anton is an exceptional winemaker and Rainbows End iis a tiny family winery so they are able to make wines the way they choose rather than to fit a specific commercial market. Hence an unusual blend like this, at a great price which is so high quality it the previous vintage was awarded Michaelangelo Awards highest rank of Double Gold! We await awards info for this vintage just released.

    Fantastic once again, in my opinion the best vintage to date. Big, full and round without being too heavy. Black fruit with integrated oak, nice and smooth with red fruits coming through on the finish.

    This is an excellent low sulphite red at an affordable price.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  10. Rainbows End Shiraz

    NWC National Champion - Double Gold, Platter 4.5 Stars, Robert Parker 90+

    Every vintage wins best Shiraz in Stellenbosch.

    Rainbows End Shiraz has very quickly set the benchmark for quality Shiraz in Stellenbosch and indeed for South Africa. It's a winning combination of top quality wine at a reasonable price. Many of the best and most famous South African red wines fetch a real premium, so for Anton at Rainbows End being a relative newcomer, he has introduced his wines at affodable prices. Not only has his Shiraz won multiple awards each vintage but so has his Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and his blends. Without doubt Rainbows End is one of the best and best value wineries in Stellenbosch.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  11. Rainbows End Merlot

    National Wine Championships - Champion, Double Gold

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    New, more 2017 just in!!! We have been waiting for this as it is one of our personal favourites. Always winning awards every year, this is one of the finest Merlots produced in South Africa.

    Rainbows End Merlot is regarded by Neil Pendock of the Platter Guide as one of the best in South Africa, and I have to agree. The 2014 was exceptional as was the 2015 and 2016. We have just received stock of the 2017. Rainbows End is one of my favourite wineries and this Merlot is one of my favourite wines. This is well worth trying to see for yourself just how good top quality South African Merlot can be.

    Free sulphur: 24mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.00
  12. Rainbows End Cabernet Sauvignon

    2018 just landed. Already awarded Robert Parker 89 points.  2017 was awarded

    National Wine Championships - Champion, Double Gold

    Nominated for Platter 5 Stars

    Rainbows End Cabernet Sauvignon is a fabulous Cabernet. Rainbows End is one of the finest artisan red wine producers in Stellenbosch, and now also makes some very good Chenin Blanc too. Anton Malan's winemaking is exceptional. He puts in a lot of hard work such as handpicking at dawn and manually punching down of the ferment several times a day, which is richly rewarded when you taste his wines. This Cabernet Sauvignon is excellent - powerful and opulent, with weight on the palate balanced by good acidity and a purity that comes from absolute minimal use of additives.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.00
  13. Rainbows End Cabernet Franc

    We have just received fresh stock of the 2017 which has already been awarded:

    NWC National Champion - Double Gold, Cab Franc Challenge 2019 - Gold, Parker 90+

     

    No doubt there will be plenty more awards to follow as this wine is superb and is listed at some of South Africa's finest restaurants such as La Petit Colombe, Jardine, Shortmarket Club. 

     

    This Rainbows End Cabernet Franc is fantastic. Anton makes some of the best red wines in Stellenbosch and it is his Cabernet Franc that he is most proud of, believing his vineyards have the ideal microclimate for this variety. Anton also produces other excellent award winning red wines including blends, straight Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a superb Merlot.

    Very pure, medium bodied with red fruit flavours, very smooth and beautifully balanced. Subtle oak ageing for 12 months, then bottled unfiltered to retain all the flavour and natural goodness. Great wine.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.99
  14. Rainbows End Family Reserve 2016

    92+ Points Robert Parker SA Report - joint highest scoring red wine.

    This 2016 has just arrived - No doubt more awards to follow.

     

    The Family Reserve is the flagship wine from Rainbows End - a superb Bordeaux blend, complex and elegant, really showing how the best South African reds can compete with France and the rest of the world. As well as power and fruit, this wine also has elegance and structure. It's beautifully made - Anton Malan is a superb hands on winemaker.

    Rainbows End is one of my very favourite wineries and is a name to watch out for. I expect Anton will go on to achieve great things in the South African wine world.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £29.99
  15. Grangehurst Pinotage

    Pinotage 89% & Cabernet Sauvignon 11% with 21 months in oak.

    This is regarded consistently as one of the finest Pinotages available and has something of a cult following. Jeremy is very proud of this wine and rightly so!

    We have just received the 2009

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £17.99
  16. Grangehurst Daylea Red Blend

    Cabernet Sauvignon (52%) Shiraz (28%), Merlot (10%) plus 10% other varietals. 22 months in oak. We have just received the 2010.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  17. Joubert Tradauw R62 Blend

    Tim Atkin 93 Points

    Joubert Tradauw R62.

    Meyer Joubert normally keeps the blend in this wine a closely guarded secret  as it changes each vintage, but he has been open this year that it is a straight Cabernet Sauvignon. Great wine, very natural in style and low in additives. Highly recommended.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £18.00
  18. Joubert Tradauw Syrah

    Tim Atkin 92 Points

    Joubert Tradauw Syrah is a superb natural Syrah, farmed organically (although not certified) and fermented with the grapes own natural yeasts. It's full of red and black fruit flavours, a little white pepper and a long lingering finish. This is a great wine from a true artisan winemaker. Very low in additives of course and bottled unfiltered.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £18.00
  19. Joubert Tradauw Redfin Pinot Noir

    Joubert Tradauw Redfin Pinot Noir is a top South African Pinot Noir made in a very French style! Ruby in colour. Savoury in style, very "Burgundian" old world. I've never before found a South African Pinot Noir made in such a convincing old world style. We've just received the 2016.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £21.95
  20. Joubert Tradauw Reserve Cabernet Franc

    Joubert-Tradauw Cabernet Franc Reserve 2016


    Tim Atkin says:

    "This brilliant Cabernet Franc is one of the best in South Africa, produced in the slightly unlikely surroundings of Tradouw in the Klein Karoo. Wonderfully smooth, floral and refined, this handles its 50% new oak with style, showing graphite, black cherry and vanilla notes.
    2020-26"

    This is Meyer's flagship wine and is absolutely beautiful! We have a very limited stock (2016).

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £34.99
  21. The Grangehurst

    The Grangehurst 2009 Bordeaux Blend is the flagship wine of the estate. Superb South African "Bordeaux" aged in oak for 35 months. No awards info as yet but usually scores a minimum of Platter 4.5 Stars every year.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £31.75
  22. Grangehurst Cabernet Sauvignon

    Cabernet Sauvignon (88%) Merlot (12%) aged in oak for 34 months.

    We are on the 2008

     

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £21.95
  23. Grangehurst Nikela

    Cabernet Sauvignon 35% Pinotage 34% Shiraz 23% Merlot 8% aged in oak (97% French & 3% American) for 33 months.

    We are on the 2008

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £21.49
  24. Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot

    Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot is a great aged Bordeaux blend from Jeremy Walker. Jeremy ages all his wines on site at the winery for many years, and typically only releases them once they're at least ten years old! He is the only South African I know of making wines like this. The results are excellent. Big powerful wines, supoer smooth and fully integrated as the blend has had years to settle. Grangehurst wines are quite an experience and highly recommended. This Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot is full bodied and super smooth, drinking beautifully.

    We are on the 2007.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £19.49

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