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Álvaro Palacios Priorat “L’Ermita” 2015 

R12,995.00 inc. VAT
"Tasting L'Ermita is always an emotional moment, as it's one of the great reds from Spain. The 2015 L'Ermita is 91% Garnacha, 8% Cariñena and 1% split between Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo and PX from the most famous single vineyard in Priorat. It fermented in oak foudre with indigenous yeasts and also had its élevage in foudre, which lasted for 15 months. The juicy freshness of this 2015, citric and vibrant, makes it very different from the rest of the portfolio. This is transparent, precise, like laser cut, chiseled, subtle and elegant, showing very open and expressive, with great freshness and the core of Mediterranean flavors. 2,200 bottles were filled in February 2017. 2015 was a high-yielding vintage in Spain in general and in Priorat in particular. The wines here have little color and feel very ethereal. 2016 is clearly more concentrated, and at the same time, the wines show vibrant acidity and more freshness." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

BLANKbottle “Retirement @ 65” 2019

R280.00 inc. VAT
"In June 2014, I arrived at a farm in Darling where I was met by a very grumpy farmer. And for good reason I soon learnt. I had bought bits of grapes from the farmer during that year’s harvest (which all turned out really promising) and was doing my annual post-harvest farm visit with a fresh barrel sample for the farmer to taste. One of his grape clients had previously persuaded him to farm a little Cinsaut vineyard by method of minimum intervention. Not in an organic kind of a way, but more towards a 300% leave-the- vineyard-to-be kind of way. To make a long story short, due to many contributing factors, all the grapes of this little Cinsaut vineyard ended up going to the pigs and he was blaming his minimum intervention 300% leave-the-vineyard-to-be client for all of this. To make matters worse, for the 62 years prior to this, the vineyard hardly produced grapes sufficient to produce wine with. You see, his grandfather planted the vineyard in 1951 and had still used a horse to plough the land. The vineyard is on the edge of the mountain in a little valley and the only food source around. So as the berries accumulated sugar, the birds would hop from bunch to bunch pricking the berries with their beaks, causing them to rot. And by the time the grapes ripened there weren’t much left. Now things like this interest me. I asked him if we could give it one more try. He reluctantly agreed on the basis that he farms the block the way he believes one should. I, in turn, agreed to buy bird nets to cover the vines and we had a deal. So mid 2014 the vines were neatly pruned and he took care of the weeds. That spring, after bud break, the first soft green shoots appeared. Everything looked good! Then, one Sunday afternoon, I received a photo on whatsapp. It was the vineyard in question with about 20 odd sheep feeding in the vineyard and no sign of the newly formed soft shoots - only brown stumps remaining as the vineyard celebrated it’s 64th birthday. Late that Friday night his sheep had broken through the fence and ate everything green in colour. So there went another crop and the farmer got even more despondent. But he didn't give up and so, in June 2015, he raised the fence. In early November we covered the whole vineyard in bird nets. Finally, in February 2016 (for the first time in 65 years!) the vineyard survived the onslaught of wild animals roaming the hillsides of Darling and we picked a very small, but healthy, crop. And this is the result: The forth vintage of Retirement@65, the 2019 - It is a radical red wine, only 12% in alcohol with this very natural vibe to it, driven by perfume rather than fruit, fresh and drinkable. Far removed from the style the new world is typically known for. With the block of Cinsaut now 68 years of age it ironically comes to life at the age of Retirement… Added to the Cinsaut is a little dash of Shiraz from the same area. And the label: A linocut I made to celebrate the fact that we won and the sheep lost." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle B-BOS-1 2018

R240.01 inc. VAT
"My grandmother grew up on a farm near a town called Bredasdorp. It’s about 45 minutes drive from L’Agulhas, where the most Southern point of the African continent is situated. When she got married, she received a wedding gift from her parents - a plot of land right next to the ocean in L’Agulhas. She built a small wooden house with the money she received as wedding gifts (seems like the standard of wedding gifts has lowered significantly in the years since then…). It’s 75 years later and the wooden house called “T-nie-C” is now my mom’s and still fully operational as a family holiday house. This is our post-harvest, post-travel, post-bottling family hideaway and very close to our hearts. The place where the kids and Aneen and I reconnect with each other and ourselves, and also where I design most of my labels. Because of this, I’ve always wanted to produce a wine of origin Cape Agulhas. I had my eye on a few possible sites but it was a phone call from Caroline Rillema, owner of Caroline's Fine Wines (a wine shop in Cape Town), that was the start of an epic venture in this area. Caroline is a formidable force in the wine industry and she and her husband Ray, planted two vineyards on their holiday breakaway smallholding in a little town called Baardskeerdersbos. As the crow flies it is 47 km from our little house in L’Agulhas. If you translate Baardskeerdersbos into English, it means “Beard-Shavers-Bush”, named after a famous spider that lives in these parts of the country. This spider builds its nest from human hair… and the myth goes that when you go to bed at night the Baardskeerder spider will climb into your bed and shave your beard for the construction of his home. So I make wine from two different wines on Caroline’s property - B-BOS-1 and B-BOS-2." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Empire 2017

R285.00 inc. VAT
"Just for the record – I am a huge fan of Swartland white blends. The image of South African wines has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the Swartland played a huge part in this. Their wines, especially the Rhône-style white blends are top notch. They are fun, young, energetic and unique and started to gain international fame.Stellenbosch, however (where I studied winemaking), is the original EMPIRE of South African wine. Like most of us, I like to support the underdog, and in the case of white blends, the Empire became exactly that. So I created a white blend based on similar varieties – a combination that could give some of the Swartland white blends a go. The empire is therefore now striking back at the Swartland with a blend of an all-Stellenbosch Verdelho, Pinot blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier. The label consists of two sections. On the left part of the label you will see a half star, which was the logo for the “”Swartland Revolution””. And on the right – stripes that represent a traditional and conservative EMPIRE. And the red brother of Empire Strikes Back is EMPIRE 2018 – not striking back but just being himself. With Cabernet Sauvignon as driver and bits of Petit Verdot and Cabernet franc to compliment. The old style design label shows a combination crest. I combined the crest of Stellenbosch University and Elsenburg College – The 2 Empires when it comes to wine education – I studied at both…” – Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Empire 2018

R285.00 inc. VAT
"Just for the record - I am a huge fan of Swartland white blends. The image of South African wines has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the Swartland played a huge part in this. Their wines, especially the Rhône-style white blends are top notch. They are fun, young, energetic and unique and started to gain international fame.Stellenbosch, however (where I studied winemaking), is the original EMPIRE of South African wine. Like most of us, I like to support the underdog, and in the case of white blends, the Empire became exactly that. So I created a white blend based on similar varieties - a combination that could give some of the Swartland white blends a go. The empire is therefore now striking back at the Swartland with a blend of an all-Stellenbosch Verdelho, Pinot blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier. The label consists of two sections. On the left part of the label you will see a half star, which was the logo for the ""Swartland Revolution"". And on the right - stripes that represent a traditional and conservative EMPIRE. And the red brother of Empire Strikes Back is EMPIRE 2018 - not striking back but just being himself. With Cabernet Sauvignon as driver and bits of Petit Verdot and Cabernet franc to compliment. The old style design label shows a combination crest. I combined the crest of Stellenbosch University and Elsenburg College - The 2 Empires when it comes to wine education - I studied at both..." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Familiemoord Non-Vintage

R285.00 inc. VAT
"When it comes to Familiemoord, having all the components of a similar vintage are not that important to me. The 2019 vintage Grenache was a little bit lighter than usual. I had in barrel some 2018 and a little bit of that made the Grenade component a little bit plusher and when you mix different vintages the wine needs to be labelled as a non-vintage. The Grenache fermented whole clusters in an open top fermentation vessel. The 2018 component is from a trellised vineyard in Wellington where the 2019 is from a bush Vine Organically Certified Wellington Vineyard. The Pinot noir from Elgin were fermented 50% whole cluster and the Cinsaut from darling, 100% whole clusters. The fine crunchy tannins that come from the stems give this rather low in acid wine a sense of freshness." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Familiemoord Non-Vintage Magnum

R585.01 inc. VAT
"In 2013, I released a wine called Familiemoord - a wine about the extraordinary but true story of how the police thought I killed my son and buried him in a shallow grave in the vacant property next to our house. The Cape Argus' article on 11 May 2013 about the incident titled “The mystery of the boy in the sandpit” serves as this wine’s label. Don’t worry, my son is alive and well and is turning 14 in September - 7 years after I “killed” him. This wine has generated the most reaction of any wine I have ever produced - and not for any of the reasons a winemaker would hope for. In fact, most people were totally oblivious as to the terroir (Swartland) or cultivar (Grenache noir) of the 2013 vintage! Some countries were uncomfortable with the name, so in 2015 I stopped producing it. But in 2018 when the dust has settled Familiemoord came back and this is the release of the 2019 - which in this case is not a 2019 but a non vintage… A blend of Wellington Grenache, Elgin Pinot and Darling Cinsaut. When it comes to Familiemoord, having all the components of a similar vintage are not that important to me. The 2019 vintage Grenache was a little bit lighter than usual. I had in barrel some 2018 and a little bit of that made the Grenade component a little bit plusher and when you mix different vintages the wine needs to be labelled as a non-vintage.The Grenache fermented whole clusters in an open top fermentation vessel. The 2018 component is from a trellised vineyard in Wellington where the 2019 is from a bush Vine Organically Certified Wellington Vineyard. The Pinot noir from Elgin were fermented 50% whole cluster and the Cinsaut from darling, 100% whole clusters. The fine crunchy tannins that come from the stems give this rather low in acid wine a sense of freshness." - Winemaker Note
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Bodegas Mauro Cosecha 2016

R455.00 inc. VAT
"The eponymous 2016 Mauro is mostly Tempranillo (or Tinto Fino) with some Syrah from 80 hectares of different vineyards, mostly in the villages of Tudela de Duero, Traspinedo and Santibañez. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French and American oak barrels and foudres for 15 months. 2016 is a cooler, more Atlantic and more drinkable vintage with contained ripeness, fine tannins and nice balance. 300,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2018." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2015

R350.00 inc. VAT
"This was a very long harvest (similar to 2016). They started at the end of August with the Cava, and they finished at the end of October with very healthy grapes, good yields and very good quality. The wine shows very good ripeness but without any excess. It has incipient complexity, still young and undeveloped but with very good balance between power and elegance, with fine-grained tannins and integrated acidity. This has to be one of the best recent vintages of this popular bottling. There are around one million bottles of it." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Château Cos d’Estournel 2016

R3,695.00 inc. VAT
"In my last sighted review of the 2016 Cos d’Estournel, I wrote: "I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth." Perhaps it is already beginning to shut down, because though this wine was deeply impressive, it fell just a notch short of ethereal previous bottles, despite its "pixelated black fruit" on the nose and "sublime balance" on the palate. I tasted the wine twice thereafter, though this time with a 4-6 hour decant, and this revealed the Cos d'Estournel that has amazed since I first tasted it out of barrel." - Neal Martin, Antonio Galloni's Vinous
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Château de Pibarnon Rouge 2015

R495.01 inc. VAT
"The 2015 red is a wine that reigns in all its splendour and majesty. The Mourvèdre is broad, finish leave a great impression of southern elegance. It is a wine that will open up in spring for 2 or 3 years." - Producer Note