Gifting / Magnum Selection

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BLANKbottle Orbitofrontal Cortex 2021 MAGNUM

R630.00 inc. VAT
"In October 2015 I was sitting on a plane heading to Joburg, next to a guy who was (or so it seemed) plugged into his computer with wires and stuff. It looked like he was communicating with the machine in a way. Once we had landed I asked him what on earth he was doing. He told me that he and his clinical psychologist business partner had started a marketing company called Neural Sense, based in Cape Town.They conduct market research by tapping into people's subconscious reactions to various inputs. I love weird things, so I told him I make wine and if ever he wanted to do something with wine he was welcome to get in contact. And he did. Three months later I was sitting at the table in my winery hooked onto machines. All my subconscious reactions (in the LIMBIC part of my brain) to each of the 21 components were to be measured and recorded - a camera looking me in the eyes (for eye reactions), a thing on my finger (for blood oxygen levels), a heart rate monitor on my chest, something on my arm (for arousal levels e.g. heat/sweat) and a mobile EEG device on my head (for monitoring my brain waves).It was the time of year where I had to make up final blends and I was sitting with 21 different white wine components in barrel, which were ready for blending and bottling. They were all different varietals from different areas and vineyards. So my assistant winemaker, Julia, took samples from all the barrels and put them into glasses, which my wife marked from 1 to 21. For each wine I would first close my eyes, then open them and they would start recording with the camera, hand me any wine and prompt me to nose, taste and spit - constantly monitoring and recording my heart rate, blood stuff and activity in my subconscious.Of course I can’t control my subconscious - before I think of reacting, I already had. We tasted through all 21 wines. I obviously spat, washed my mouth with water in between and we even did a few with clean water in my mouth and used that as a control or base reaction. This process took a whole day. I like to call it work. Their job was now to analyse the data. The way I understand it is that they look at all the parts of my brain that reacted, compare it with all the other blood and heart monitors and then work out with mathematical algorithm what I liked and disliked.The analysis of the data took months, so in the meantime Julia and I decided to blend a control - the best possible white blend from the same 21 parcels - making use of our conscious mind; the ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX. When the results came, the two wines were so different! We blended both and bottled the 2 wines. Please note - we are NOT trying to prove something with this experiment. We were just trying to have fun. And we did… So, LIMBIC 2015 - Wellington Chenin blanc, Darling Chenin blanc, Swartland Clairette blanche, Upper Hemel and Aarde Pinot Gris and Stellenbosch Viognier And ORBITO FRONTAL CORTEX 2015 - Piekenierskloof Grenache blanc, Swartland Clairette blanche, Swartland Fernão Pires, Elgin Semillon and Voor Paardeberg Verdelho. " - Producer's note

BLANKbottle Little William 2021 MAGNUM

"The wine is named after my chance meeting with a little boy called William on the Witzenberg mountains. It’s been a fascinating story from the start, but became even more bizarre at the end of last year, with another chance meeting.Little William reloaded!In January 2016, I was driving back from a tiny little vineyard in the Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres Plateau). Cruising along at the 100km/h speed limit, I came to a very winding stretch of road leading towards the Witzenberg pass. Suddenly, for a split second, I thought I saw something in the middle of the road. I had just come through a super sharp bend and had to jump on the brakes with both feet. When I finally got my 470 000-km-on-the-clock Toyota to stop, there, on the white line in the middle of the road, stood a little blonde boy. I guessed him around a year and a half old. He was in his nappies and had a white T-shirt on, perfectly camouflaged on the white line. Unsure of what to do once I'd taken him out of the road, I thought it a good plan to prompt him and see which direction he takes off in (with myself of course right behind).About 200 meters further along the road he (we) crossed a little bridge heading towards the other side of the canal. He turned up a dirt road which led to a farmhouse about 300 meters up a hill. Keeping up to his snail-like pace, we arrived at the house more or less 10 minutes later (in my experience with farm dogs, it wouldn’t have been wise to carry him). When the gardener saw us approaching, he called out to a woman at the house and judging by her reaction, she must’ve been his mom and he must’ve been missing for a while.It was a bit of an emotional and chaotic environment so, knowing he was safe, I just turned around and left without introducing myself.So each time I present a tasting with Little William wine as part of the line-up, I get the same question: “Why is it called, Little William?”, followed almost without fail by: “What does the family have to say about you calling a wine, Little William?” My answer is always the same: “I never went back, they don't even know the wine exists. But I am convinced there will be this one day where I’d be sitting at some local bar in Knysna, drinking a beer all by myself when the young guy next to me turns to me and introduces himself as William from Ceres." And I’ll be able to tell him: “Eendag, lank, lank gelede het hierdie oom jou lewe gered!”For 4 years I had the privilege of telling the story of little William. Until last year. When Chapter 2 happened.In November, we took our youngest son for a minor operation at Panorama Mediclinic, Tygerberg, Cape Town. The lady at reception looked at us with a puzzled look on her face. We later learnt that there had been a mistake on the paperwork and they were under the impression that he was an adult. They had subsequently booked him into an adult ward. The man next to him had drunk a cup of coffee at 6:00am that morning with milk in. His operation therefore had to be postponed and he obviously missed his theatre time slot. He had to wait almost the whole day for the next slot. He and Sebastian eventually left for the theatre at more or less the same time. I went to get us a cup of coffee, and as she always does, Aneen started making conversation with the milk-in-the-coffee guy’s wife. On my return Aneen said: ”They are from Ceres, tell her the little William story.” I cringed, thinking: "Why would I do that??" I tried to let her comment slide and filled the awkward silence with useless words. We carried on with the small talk and she ended up telling us that she is a vet and her husband is a farmer. “Where do you farm in Ceres?”, I asked. “In the Witzenberg mountains, on a farm called Blah-blah-blah”, she answered.And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, that was the name of the farm where I dropped little William that morning. It started dawning on me that it might be my Knysna-bar-thing moment happening in a totally bizarre, different way. “Do you have a son called William?” I asked. “No”, she replied, “but my nephew is called William and they live on the same farm, in the house next to the road.” We did the sums and he would’ve been exactly 1 and a half years at the time. So it turns out it wasn't a beer-in-hand pub in Knysna, but a coffee-in-hand hospital in Cape Town. I should've listened to Aneen right from the start... so I told her the whole story and she phoned her sister-in-law. “Did you ever lose William on the farm?” she asked (I don’t think that’s the type of story you volunteer to tell your extended family if not prompted). “Yes”, she said. “There was this one day…”PS: This incident made me think about everyone’s life stories. I’m convinced that these kind of things happen to everyone. The difference is that I just happened to call a wine Little William, and I have a reason to re-tell this story. If I didn’t, I would’ve possibly only re-told the story once or twice, but I can imagine how the finer details could've gotten lost between profit margins and VAT. I have a responsibility to convey the story in an honest and factual way. You know how easily a story gets blurry. So each time I drive the road, I recheck my facts: Where exactly did William stand? Distances? The name of the farm? The story then became part of our story. And that day when the lady mentioned Ceres, the first thing Aneen thought about was the boy in the road." Winemaker's notes

Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Grèves Premier Cru Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2019 Magnum

"A markedly floral-suffused nose blends red and dark currant scents with those of a plethora of spice and earth elements. There is impressive volume to the caressing but solidly punchy and powerful middle weight plus flavors that possess better depth and superb length. Excellent and very much built-to-age." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Vega-Sicilia Alión Ribera del Duero Cosecha 2015 3L

R6,995.00 inc. VAT
Produced with 100% Tinto Fino or Tempranillo grapes in a modern and fruit-forward style with generous oak, the 2015 Alión is juicy and intense, cropped from a warm and dry year that delivered a 15% alcohol red that is voluptuous and hedonistic. It matured for 12 to 14 months in oak barrels, mostly French and mostly new. At first I found it quite ripe, with black rather than red fruit, a little earthy and with a touch of licorice and ink. The palate reveals abundant, slightly dusty tannins without the quality they had in 2014; it's a little dry on the finish, a riper and more powerful vintage of Alión. The nose improved tremendously with time in the glass as it opened up, but the tannins remained quite present. It might need a little more time in bottle to polish those edges. 230,730 bottles and some larger formats where produced. It was bottled in June 2017. - Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

Château Tertre Roteboeuf St-Émilion Grand Cru 2007 Magnum

R8,795.00 inc. VAT
"Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 2007 Bordeaux tasting. The 2007 Le Tertre-Rôteboeuf has an irresistible bouquet with plush red and black fruit, crème de cassis and vanilla pod, almost Burgundian in style and billowing with aeration in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied and plush with dark plum, macerated red cherries and strawberry. But this is all about that velvety texture and the weight and concentration on the finish. Surely this is Tertre-Rôteboeuf? It is! Perhaps the most delicious wine of the vintage." - Neal Martin, Wine Advocate

Bodegas y Viñedos Pintia 2016 Tinto Magnum

"Saturated ruby. Expansive cherry, black raspberry, potpourri and exotic spice aromas are complemented by subtle licorice and woodsmoke flourishes. Vibrant and sharply focused in the mouth, with a spine of juicy acidity adding focus to palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur, violet pastille, mocha and spicecake flavors. The floral quality resonates emphatically on the clinging finish, which features lingering cherry and smoky mineral notes. There's noteworthy elegance here, a trait that's not exactly common for Toro." - Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5˚ 2016 3L

"Dark violet. Powerful red and dark fruit preserve, pipe tobacco and potpourri aromas are complemented by exotic spice, mocha and incense flourishes. Sappy and energetic in character, offering palate-staining blackberry, cherry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. Gently chewy tannins build steadily on an impressively long, focused and penetrating finish that leaves smoky mineral, floral and juicy dark berry notes behind." - Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2016 Valbuena 5˚ Magnum

"Dark violet. Powerful red and dark fruit preserve, pipe tobacco and potpourri aromas are complemented by exotic spice, mocha and incense flourishes. Sappy and energetic in character, offering palate-staining blackberry, cherry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. Gently chewy tannins build steadily on an impressively long, focused and penetrating finish that leaves smoky mineral, floral and juicy dark berry notes behind." - Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Vega Sicilia Único Reserva Especial Release 2021 Magum (09, 10, 11)

"Saturated garnet. An expansive bouquet presents an array of dark fruit and floral qualities that are complemented by suggestions of exotic spices, vanilla, pipe tobacco and cedary oak. Stains the palate with concentrated, smoke-tinged cherry liqueur, cassis, fruitcake and candied licorice flavors, braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and chewy, with resonating florality and sneaky tannins. This is the 2021 release for this always-intriguing wine, and it seems to be leading with its structured, 2010 component right now." - Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Champagne Lanson Le Black Label Brut Non-Vintage Jeroboam 3L

R3,625.00 inc. VAT
"Light gold. Aromas of nectarine, pear and lemon curd, with subtle ginger, lees and floral accents. Sappy orchard and citrus fruit flavors are given spine by tangy acidity and pick-up spiciness and a chalky nuance with air. Powerful yet lithe and focused, finishing with very good clarity and length and lingering spiciness."- Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Domaine Hubert and Laurent Lignier Chambolle Musigny Les Bussieres 2018 MAGNUM

R2,595.00 inc. VAT
"A mild touch of reduction knocks down the fruit though there is good freshness and verve to the delicious and lilting flavors that possess very good detail on the slightly tangy and short finish. I suspect that this will better harmonize once it is bottled." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Hubert Lignier Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Seuvrées” 2018 Magnum

R2,100.00 inc. VAT
Old vines, millerandage, one third whole bunch. Attractive pink purple. Succulent raspberry, then some strawberry behind, beautifully juicy, just the right acidity with a fine fresh finish. The fruit is clearly ripe but perfectly balanced, very persistent." - Jasper Morris MW, Inside Burgundy

Lafarge-Vial Côte de Brouilly 2019 Magnum

R1,250.00 inc. VAT
“Domaine Lafarge-Vial Côte de Brouilly 2019 Magnum, A more restrained nose that features notes of ripe cherry, dark raspberry and subtle earth and spice wisps with a floral top note. There is more size, weight and power to the bigger-bodied flavors that culminate in a dusty, serious and manifestly built-to-age finale that exhibits excellent persistence. This too is terrific and worth your interest.” – Allen Meadows’, Burghound

Lafarge-Vial Fleurie Clos Vernay 19 Magnum

R1,250.00 inc. VAT
"Domaine Lafarge-Vial Fleurie “Clos Vernay” 2019 Magnum, Here there is more earth influence on the ripe and beautifully layered aromas of spice, violet, and plum. The gorgeously textured, refined and even more mineral-driven flavors display superb length on the equally complex finale. This is outstanding and one to strongly consider."– Allen Meadows, Burghound

Lafarge-Vial Fleurie La Joie du Palais 2019 Magnum

R1,250.00 inc. VAT
"Domaine Lafarge-Vial Fleurie "Joie de Palais" 2019 Magnum, This too is attractively elegant and admirably pure with its even more floral suffused aromas of essence of dark berries that are laced with discreet spice wisps. There is fine volume and delineation to the vibrant and intensely mineral-driven medium-weight flavors that firm up as the strikingly long finish sits on the palate. Even so, I suspect that this will be approachable after 3 to 4 years if you enjoy your Bojo on the younger side." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

BLANKbottle B.I.G. Magnum 2019

R630.00 inc. VAT
"The Swartland Revolution was exactly that: a revolution initiated by Swartland farmers which turned the premium wine market upside down. Suddenly premium higher-priced Bordeaux-style Stellenbosch wines had to share the stage with premium Rhone-style Swartland blends. And so it happened then, that for the past 8 years, the media stuck Cabernet Sauvignon in a dark and dusty corner - not “cool” enough.As some of you might know, at the moment I make wine from 24 varieties. I thought it a bright idea to do something for the neglected, fallen-from-grace Cabernet Sauvignon. I subsequently identified 8 Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, 2 Cabernet franc and 1 Petit Verdot with vastly different heights above sea level: 7 near Somerset West (at 32 to 391 m), 2 on the outskirts of Tulbagh (both at 310 m) and 2 in the Witzenberg’s Koue Bokkeveld (at 734 and 755m).When I first started speaking to the masters of Cabernet here at the Southernmost tip of Africa, the first thing mentioned by most was the dreaded Greenness in Cabernet Sauvignon - a very unwelcome herbaceous / vegetative character. This develops due to high levels of Pyrazines present in the wine - something that's determined by the ripeness level of the grapes. The longer the grape bunches get exposed to sunlight during the growing period, the less Pyrazines - resulting in less greenness in the end product - reducing herbaceousness and amplifying fruit.Here in South Africa we have a unique situation: although we have plenty of sunshine, it is hot and dry. In most instances, by the time the grapes are ripe for picking, it hasn't had long enough sun exposure for the Pyrazines to get to an acceptable level. And if you leave it on the vine for longer, the sugar level gets too high. These sugars are then transformed during fermentation into alcohol resulting in rather high alcoholic wines.So in general, Cabernet creators are in fact chased by the Green Monster. Defended by some, feared by most. What confuses me, though, is that one could argue that this greenness is a stylistic characteristic of wines closer to the ocean, which makes it acceptable. Or does it? Where the exact point lies where herbaceousness turns into greenness - I am not sure.That’s why I decided to make a Cabernet Sauvignon led blend and identified the following 11 vineyards from different heights above sea levels. The closest vineyard to the ocean is 3km and the furthest 3 hours drive.My eie plaas - Cabernet Sauvignon: Valley floor Firgrove - 32 meters above sea-level.UNITY - Cabernet Sauvignon: Lower slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 116 meters above sea-level.LAN - Cabernet Sauvignon: Firgrove (slope facing towards the Helderberg) - 60m meters above sea-level.COR-CS - Cabernet Sauvignon: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 308 meters above sea-level.COR-CF - Cabernet franc: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 320 meters above sea-level.Sigh of Relief - Cabernet franc: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 391 meters above sea-level.Black Nectar - Petit verdot: Blaauwklippen Road Stellenbosch - 279 meters above sea-level.TOOLBAG Cabernet Sauvignon: Tulbagh - 310 meters above sea-levelMr VILLA Cabernet Sauvignon: Tulbagh - 310 meters above sea-levelBUT WHY?: Ceres Plateau - 734 meters above sea-levelLEAVING THE TABLE: Ceres Plateau - 755 meters above sea-levelWe made them all separately and aged them all in French oak for one and a half years - picked mainly when we thought the grapes tasted best. Interestingly enough, the first vineyard on the Helderberg ripened in late February whereas the last vineyard in Ceres Plateau (about 3 hours drive from the first) reached optimum ripeness on 22 April - 100 days into harvest and also the very last grapes to hit the cellar." -Producer’s note

Bodegas y Viñedos Alion 2016 Tinto Magnum

R2,950.00 inc. VAT
Glass-staining violet. Heady smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, incense and potpourri, plus hints of vanilla and cola in the background. Densely packed, alluringly sweet and focused on the palate, offering intense black currant, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors and a touch of exotic spices. Sappy, smooth and seamless in texture, finishing with powerful thrust and velvety tannins that come in late to add shape and gentle grip. 95% French and 5% American oak, 80% of it new.

Champagne Lanson Le Black Label Brut Non-Vintage Mathusalem (6l)

R7,225.00 inc. VAT
“Light gold. Aromas of nectarine, pear and lemon curd, with subtle ginger, lees and floral accents. Sappy orchard and citrus fruit flavors are given spine by tangy acidity and pick up spiciness and a chalky nuance with air. Powerful yet lithe and focused, finishing with very good clarity and length and lingering spiciness.” – Josh Raynolds, Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

Vega-Sicilia “Valbuena 5” Cosecha 2014 Magnum

R4,460.01 inc. VAT
“This wine was re-tasted prior to this report with similar descriptors to my previous tasting for a report I published earlier this year and the score was the same. Cropped from an unusually cold and rainy vintage in which they will not bottle Único, the 2013 Valbuena is always released in its fifth year. It’s mostly Tempranillo with 5% Merlot that was put through a three- to four-day cold soak in the oak vats, where it fermented with indigenous yeasts and was pumped over. It matured in new and used 225-liter French and American oak barriques and also in 20,000-liter oak vats, where the larger vessels respect the fruit, especially in a more fragile vintage-like 2013. It’s a very elegant and fresh Valbuena with a developed nose, quite classical with a fine texture, elegant tannins and a supple, long finish where the oak is still quite obvious. I liked it very much and consider it a triumph over the challenges of the year. ” – Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling “Graacher Himmelreich” Spätlese MAGNUM 2018

R1,305.01 inc. VAT
"The 2018 Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese is discreet yet deep and complex on the elegant and spicy nose that exhibits very fine stone fruit aromas. Round, lush and piquant on the palate, this is a crystalline, piquant, persistently salty and stimulating Himmelreich with fine tannins on the finish that add grip and a very light, food-friendly astringency that moderates away the sweetness. Still young, this is a Spätlese to serve with food in 10-15 years. Tasted at the domain in September 2020." - Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2018 Magnum

Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2018, "Gentle but perceptible wood is present on the lightly mentholated nose of super-spicy and quite floral essence of poached plum and cassis-scented nose. There is a beguiling sense of underlying tension to the delicious middle weight plus flavors that culminate in a dusty, palate coating and beautifully complex finish that also reveals a touch of warmth. The 2018 Clos de Tart is not quite as concentrated as it usually is, but it still has the stuffing to improve over the next 20 years and it should hold for many years after that. I would also observe that it's more powerful but less refined than the 2019 version." – Allen Meadows, Burghound