This month, we wrap up our journey south of the equator finishing with two exceptional, full-bodied red wines from South Africa. Like the wines we featured from Australia last month, these warm climate countries will become increasingly important in the coming years as the droughts of California continue to create crop shortages and considerably higher prices. The good news is that producers in both countries practice the same modern winemaking techniques common in California and Bordeaux.
The reason I specifically chose these two Cabernets for this feature is to contrast the difference in how Cabernet Sauvignon ripens in different climates. The first selection is from the temperate Stellenbosch region, which benefits from a proximity to the cold Indian Ocean. By contrast, the second selection comes from Paarl, located farther inland and considerably warmer. Think of this as a comparison between Napa Valley (Stellenbosch) and Paso Robles (Paarl). Both are excellent examples of Cabernet Sauvignon and show how far South Africa has come from the early releases after apartheid.Download Full Club Write-up