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Cape Classics Blog
April 17, 2014

Clos du Gaimont is a parcel of the esteemed Clos de Nouys vineyard, situated on a plot of premium land in the heart of Vouvray. Winemaker François Chainier purchased Clos du Gaimont’s vineyards in 1997 and has become a pioneer in sustainable farming, being the first to employ green practices in the area. Vineyards are maintained according to a sustainable agriculture philosophy, keeping the overall ecosystem in mind. The Chenin Blanc grapes are hand harvested with great care taken from vine to cellar.

Fun Fact: A 'clos' is an 'enclosed vineyard', referring to a wall that now, or at one time, surrounded vines. While most of Clos du Gaimont's original wall has fallen down, a small section still borders the vineyard.

April 11, 2014

Welcome the long anticipated warmer temperatures with the 2013 DMZ Cabernet Rosé, fresh from the vineyards and the perfect complement for your spring and summer soirees! Crafted by the legendary DeMorgenzon estate, this Cabernet is a versatile food wine with the elegance to pair with “typical” rosé fare and the body and structure to stand up to heartier dishes, making it a true crowd pleaser. DMZ Cabernet Rosé displays alluring aromas and juicy flavors of pomegranate, watermelon and strawberries, accented with delicate floral and spice hints.

April 7, 2014

One of South Africa’s premier wine farms, the beautiful Bayten estate (aka Buitenverwachting) is nestled on the base of the magnificent Constantiaberg mountain, just south of Cape Town and a few short miles from False Bay. Breezes sweeping in from False Bay, make it one of South Africa’s coolest winegrowing areas, renowned for elegant white wines that possess an intense minerality.

Constantia is one of the few wine-growing areas in South Africa which does not need to rely on irrigation, thanks to significant winter rainfall. Bayten’s vineyards are planted on a variety of ancient decomposed granite soils and farmed embracing a variety of holistic farming practices. From racy Sauvignon Blancs to elegant Meursault-like Chardonnays, cellar master Hermann Kirschbaum and winemaker Brad Paton continue to craft stunning wines that deliver on the promise to exhilarate the senses.

Fun fact: Bayten was part of the original Constantia estate founded in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape.

March 25, 2014

With the first breath of spring air, our mouths are watering for a fresh salad and racy glass of Sauvignon Blanc. (It's been a long winter!) Although a year-round grape, Sauvignon Blanc's distinctive herbaceous character is often aligned with tastes of the spring and summer seasons. From vegetable to grass flavors, mineral to citrus notes, Sauvignon Blanc offers a wine tasting adventure. The following bottlings bear the heart of Sauvignon Blanc, each with its own personality based on terroir and the winemakers' hands.

Beyond Sauvignon Blanc - This crisp, fresh bottling is crafted in the Coastal Region of South Africa by Sauvignon specialist, Buitenverwachting. Flavors of tropical fruit, melon, ripe gooseberry and green pepper are supported by herbal notes and a mineral edge. Beyond offers a tremendous value, consistently earning “Best Buy” accolades.

Paul Buisse Touraine Sauvignon - Floral aromatics lead to a racy yet delicate palate that is fruit forward with a bright acidity and a seamless finish. Ideal for appetizers, this crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc from the AOC Touraine is the perfect wine to open your palate, serving as a great match for soft cheeses, specifically goat cheese which is a specialty of the Loire, France region.

Indaba Sauvignon Blanc - A crowd pleaser, this easy drinking Sauvignon Blanc from the Western Cape of South Africa displays appealing citrus and tropical fruit aromas that lead to an invigorating palate of pineapple, lemon-lime, mango and green fig. Herbal undertones shine through on the mineral-tinged finish, making this an good match for shellfish and summertime salads.

DMZ Sauvignon Blanc - DMZ is DeMorgenzon’s value label, where the objective is to produce classic, elegant, well-balanced wines which over-deliver in terms of quality for price. This Western Cape bottling offers upfront aromatics of passion fruit and citrus following through to a rich palate that yields ripe fruit flavors with a nettle edge. A brisk acidity and stony minerality give natural freshness and length.

Bayten Sauvignon Blanc - This praised Sauvignon Blanc from Constantia, South Africa displays classic aromas and flavors of green fig, gooseberry and lime. A fuller body with pepper and herbal notes are supported by elegant hints of mineral and chalk. The most recent vintage, 2013, received 90 points from Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits magazines.

Did you know? Sauvignon Blanc means "Wild White". Indigenous to France, Sauvignon Blanc derives its name from the words sauvage, for “wild,” and blanc, for “white”.

March 18, 2014

March 12, 2014

Tim Varan is owner and franchisor of Tim's Wine Market, a nationally known and respected leader in the wine retail business with seven stores operating across Florida. With 20 years of experience in the industry, Tim tastes over 4000 wines per year to select bottlings worthy of placement. We sat down to gain insight on the Florida market and running a successful wine shop.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between wine trends at Tim’s Wine Market 10 years ago and those today?

Tim: Ten years ago consumer demand was still driven by critical reviews by only a handful of publications. Now social media has a far greater influence on consumer tastes. Not so much from bloggers, but apps that allow other drinkers to share their opinions. Also, smart phone cameras allow friends to share their favorite discoveries instantly, which can create sudden bursts of sales on unusual wines or categories.

Q: Describe the Florida wine scene.

Tim: Because wine is available in so many retail outlets, customers are more demanding when they seek out independent wine shops. They generally want labels they don't find in big box locations and are willing to experiment. At the same time Florida consumers are very California-centric, so it takes a little more work to get new customers to try imported wines, particularly above $15 a bottle.

Q: What makes Tim’s Wine Market unique?

Tim: Selection, service and value. We take the time to talk to every customer, get to know their preferences -often when they can't describe them- and then help them pick wines that are right for their needs, budget and taste. We do not use any critical press in the store so it helps us establish our own credibility with customers because we put our money where our mouth is. If we pick wines they do not like, they will not be back. At the same time it frees us from having to carry the same old brands as everyone else. Our regular customers know they are going to get a good bottle of wine from us, for less than they expect to pay.

Q: Where is your favorite spot for a glass of wine?

Tim: Sitting at my dining room table on Sunday night with my wife and kids. That is the night I cook a big meal than and pull something old out of the cellar.

Q: Please offer a piece of insight to someone interested in opening a retail wine shop.

Tim: Do not use critical press to sell wine. Establish yourself as an expert and show you have the best interests of your customers at heart when you help them make selections. It takes little longer to build a base of customers but they are more loyal and willing to trust you, which lets you sell more interesting wines.

Tim's Wine Market carries bottlings from Cape Classics' estates including Indaba, Excelsior Wine Estate, Raats Family Wines and more. For further information please visit: Tim's Wine Market

March 5, 2014

In 1989, Paul Buisse purchased over 173 acres of vineyards in an area recognized as one of the best for winegrowing in the Touraine appellation of the Loire Valley. The vineyard's south-southwest exposure and clay limestone soils translate to beautiful, fruit forward wines. Upon his retirement in 2010, Paul Buisse sold the company to his friend, Pierre Chainier, whose family has a long history of working in wine and trade dating back to 1749. Since, the Chainier family have become pioneers in sustainable farming, being the first to employ green practices in the region. Vineyards are maintained according to a sustainable agriculture philosophy with the overall ecosystem in mind. The vision of the Chainiers is to bring knowledge, experience, and a passion for winemaking to the industry, as they embrace the Loire Valley and its unique soils.

Paul Buisse Touraine 2012 is now available in the U.S. Ideal for appetizers, this crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine to open your palate, serving as a great match for soft cheeses, specifically goat cheese which is a specialty of the Loire region, summertime salads, shellfish and seafood.

February 28, 2014

Situated in the heart of Vouvray, the estate is the mastermind of young and dynamic Vincent Carême, and his wife Tania. Passionate about crafting various styles of Chenin Blanc, Vincent established 37 acres spread over three villages: Vouvray, Vernou-sur-Brenne and Noizay. He firmly believes that the quality of the wine is determined in the vineyard and consequently spends every possible moment tending to his vines with the greatest of care. Harvest is carried out exclusively by hand and performed by an experienced team of pickers. All of Domaine Vincent Carême’s wines are certified organic from 2010 onwards by Ecocert in France. His Le Clos and Le Peu Morier wines are now available in the U.S.

A meticulous Chenin Blanc grower, Vincent Carême's watchful eyes and careful hands have earned his Vouvrays exceptional praise.

February 14, 2014

Love and bubbly, a match made in heaven. Winemaker Philip Jonker must have foreseen the future when he harvested the Chardonnay grapes for his first vintage of Weltevrede's 'The Ring'. Appropriately named, as the maiden vintage matured over the course of three years, Philip fell in love and on his wedding day the cork was popped.

Grapes for ‘The Ring’ stem from old vines planted on slopes set in broken shale rock and limestone soil. Robertson is the only region in South Africa with limestone soils, which are ideal for producing exquisite Chardonnay. Weltevrede boasts  over 8,600 square feet of underground cellar, providing the ideal setting for barrel maturation and  Méthode Cap Classique aging.
The sparkling wine offers aromas of lemon grass, melon and mint with a crisp palate of green apple, citrus and honey. These complex flavors are flawlessly woven together to create an elegant Blanc de Blancs style that is delicate yet substantial.

February 6, 2014

Whether a romantic evening with your partner or a casual night with friends, De Morgenzon's DMZ Cabernet Rosé is a spirited sipper to enjoy on Valentine's Day. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it's a charming wine that displays aromas and flavors of pomegranate and strawberries, with hints of floral roses.