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BLANKbottle Air Carrots of Pagnol 2018

R230.00 inc. VAT
"I know this is a more lengthy release than usual, but this is one story that needs to be told in detail - it’s one of those that, looking back, I can just shake my head in disbelief at how it turned out. - It all started with a wine called Manon des Sources. In short - It is a blend of Grenache blanc from Paarl/Swartland and Wellington, with a dash of Grenache Gris." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Manon des Sources 2010

R207.00 inc. VAT
"In the Elgin Valley, as a passion project, the owner of a mainly fruit farm planted 3 vineyards - Weisser Riesling Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc. In 2012 I took over the grapes from the previous buyer and made my DOC - a white blend of Weisser Riesling, Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc - a wine which represents this little mountainous outcrop. The soil varies immensely from reddish sandstone to granite and clay. After bottling my version (DOC 2012) the owner of the farm asked me if I could bottle a version of the same wine for him for his private consumption or to sell to his friends. Fast forward 7 years and he never got round to selling a bottle. So I bought it all back. I released it and it sold out in a flash. I mean, where do you find a 7-year old bottle-aged white from South Africa? Andre then told me that he had more. The previous buyer of the grapes had also made a white blend for him. A 2010! A dense, rich but fresh 9 year old white wine. What an experience! To taste a 2010 Weisser Riesling blend from South Africa is priceless. “But isn't it way too risky to name a wine Manon des Sources?” my wife asked me. Of course she was right. It’s a brand name owned by somebody somewhere, but the chances of me, here at the tip of Africa with a small batch of wine registering on their radar was very slim. So slim that I was willing to take the risk… Manon des Sources (Manon of the Spring) is a 1966 two-volume novel by Marcel Pagnol and tells the story of a lady living in a small village on the outskirts of Marseille. It's a very famous story and they subsequently made 2 films about the book. I would never have known about the book if it wasn’t for my Swiss friend, Eric, who started calling our daughter, Alexa, Manon des Sources. Alexa and the main character looked so alike: you see, for the first six years of Alexa’s life she did not like to have any fabric in contact with her skin. So my mother-in-law started making these long dresses of very thin soft material. She would wear one dress for about 6 months (day and night), then some nights she’d allow us to wash it and we had to make sure it’s ready for the next morning. Once that particular dress was completely worn out, full of holes, we had to get her into a new one - which was a nightmare to adjust to. She also never combed her hair and never wore shoes. In short: Alexa looked exactly like the lead actress in Manon des Sources. After this particular wine had been bottled, it was Alexa’s turn to design a label (they all get a turn to design a label and I pay them per bottle sold) and she subsequently made a self-sketch with her in her dress and wild hair flying all over. The name of the wine could not have been anything other than Manon des Sources."" - Producer Note"
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BLANKbottle Offspring 2017

R175.00 inc. VAT
"The child of Dad Orbitofrontal Cortex and Mom Limbic (not the leftovers all thrown together - if I feel that a component doesn’t quite measure up, it gets demoted to a leftover tank which I sell as bulk wine). This OFFSPRING was thoughtfully blended - Riesling and Sémillon from Elgin, Chenin blanc from Wellington and Verdelho from the Voor Paardeberg." - Producer Note

BLANKbottle Orbitofrontal Cortex 2018

R207.00 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. The label: The face of the person I did as a linocut. Printed with black block ink. Printed on organic paper and hand labeled." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Smaug the Magnificent 2017

R285.00 inc. VAT
"This is the second release of Smaug the Magnificent. Like with most great things in life - this wine originated with a really bad experience where the liquor board stopped the sales of the 2011 vintage. Smaug is back and it’s all about showing what age can do to a South African white blend. I bottled this wine in 2017 and have been ageing it ever since. Not great for cash-flow but very promising for the wine! The 2017 vintage is just about to start showing it’s true colours. A super cool, nutty, grippy mineral, yet fresh 3-year old South African white. Made to age for another 5 to 7 years. Only for the adventurous wine drinker. A blend of Roussanne, Chenin blanc, Verdelho and Palomino." - Producer Note
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Château d’Yquem 2011

R5,995.00 inc. VAT
"Luminous golden yellow. Cool, pure aromas of white peach, honeyed mango, guava nectar, white flowers and saffron are complicated by elements of crushed stone and spicy lemony botrytis. Suave and intensely flavored, with mineral-spiced apple, mango, passion fruit and grapefruit flavors offering outstanding purity, precision, and depth. The brisk but harmonious acidity gives this great Sauternes a penetrating quality and provides a powerful spine to the very deep flavors, making it seem less opulent than it really is. This Yquem has the depth of the 2007 but boasts even greater purity and focus. Finishes bright and extremely long, with repeating suggestions of white flowers and lemony botrytis. Though it lacks the depth of the 2001 or the opulence of the 2009 at a similar stage of development, this is one of my favorite young Yquems ever: it will age spectacularly well." - Ian Agata, Antonio Galloni's Vinous
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Château de Pibarnon Blanc 2017

R425.01 inc. VAT
"This unique white from the south is a rival of its renowned brothers in the north, due to its elegant flavours and tasty finish as a result of the high-quality terroir and slow maturation of the northern-facing grapes. One will be pleasantly surprised by its structure despite the volume produced, and its floral and fine elegance renders the wine crisp and pure. This white is well matched with langoustines, scallops and lobster. Fine white fish will be perfect, in a salt crust, with a white butter sauce, or simply grilled with wild fennel." - Producer Note
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Chateau Musar White 2009

R550.00 inc. VAT
"The Chateau white of this year is a deep golden colour with honeyed aromas, full of tropical fruits; pineapple, banana with warm, toasty buttery notes. The palate is rich in ripe yellow fruits, quince and apricot with the pineapple flavours following through. It also has dried fruits and almonds with oak ageing characters. This is a powerful vintage full of yellow fruits and honeycomb; there is a fine balance between the oily texture and fresh acidity. Cellared well, it will keep for decades." - Producer Note
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David & Nadia “Aristargos” 2019

R350.00 inc. VAT
"I did a double take when I realised this was the tenth vintage of Aristargos - 2010 seems like yesterday - but what a great and reliable wine it has become. Chenin-based with 50% Clairette, Semillon, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Verdelho, it's wonderfully complex and layered, with pear, citrus and herbal notes, a hint of peach and a long, stony finish." - Tim Atkin MW, South African Special Report 2020
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David & Nadia “Aristargos” Magnum 2019

R745.00 inc. VAT
"47% Chenin Blanc, 13% Semillon, 11% Clairette Blanche, 10% Viognier, 8% Marsanne, 6% Roussanne, 3% Verdelho and 2% Grenache Blanc – seven varieties across 15 different vineyards involving 22 pickings. This vintage seems particularly reticent with the nose showing elusive notes of white and yellow fruit plus a little earthiness while the palate is lean, fresh and pithy. Quite challenging at this stage but should no doubt unwind with time in bottle." - Christian Eeded, Winemag

J.L. Chave Sélection Crozes-Hermitage Blanc “Sybèle” 2018

R325.00 inc. VAT
"Diaphanous straw-yellow. Mineral-driven aromas of pear nectar, tangerine and yellow plum, plus a subtle touch of jasmine. Juicy and tightly focused in the mouth, offering intense citrus and orchard fruit flavors that are underscored by suggestions of ginger and bitter quinine. The impressively long, penetrating finish shows lingering minerality and fine delineation." - Josh Raynolds, Antonio Galloni's Vinous