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Álvaro Palacios “Quiñón de Valmira” 2016

R4,650.00 inc. VAT
"I had the chance to preview the 2016 Quiñón de Valmira, a wine that can seem perplexing during the élevage, as it's very pale and ethereal, but it has incredible power and depth, even if the sample was a bit shaky. There is great harmony and elegance here, with very good freshness. Even if it feels light on the palate, it seems to have more clout, concentration, power and acidity than the 2015, like it wants to go one step further. It's not very clear yet, but I believe this is a better wine than the 2015. This should be bottled around February 2018; I tasted a sample from an oval oak cask. There will be some 2,400 bottles of this. I also saw a very raw sample of 2017, from an atypical year of extreme heat and drought, and the wine had a lot more color, extract and concentration. We'll have to wait and see if this ends up being the great wine produced from Valmira. There will be a bit more wine in 2017." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Álvaro Palacios Priorat “L’Ermita” 2015 

"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
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BLANKbottle Air Carrots of Pagnol 2018

R250.00 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 B-BOS-1 2018

R250.00 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 Boberg 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"2015 was the first year that I bought the grapes from this Vineyard. The Farmer calls the vineyard BOBERG, which means “on top of the Mountain”. It was a neglected little vineyard, old bush vines with no irrigation. The farmer identified it as a site with potential and started with a restoration process. The vineyard grows in decomposed granitic soil in Wellington. The site is cooler than the others in the area. I used it in 2015 as a component in the Moment of Silence blend. The vineyard seemed to produce a high acid even though it grows in extreme conditions. In 2016 and 2017 the farmer decided to move farming practises from conventional farming to organic. Boberg is now organically certified. He also installed irrigation to enable it to sustain heat waves during warm parts of summer." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Empire 2018

R310.01 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 Epileptic Inspiration 2019

R280.00 inc. VAT
"1/3 Elgin Semillon that fermented and aged in French Oak for one and 1/2 years. 1/3 Elgin Semillon that fermented and aged in 330 liter clay amphora. 1/3 Baardseerdersbos Semillon, that fermented and aged in 330 liter clay amphora. I am not a fan of greener wines and therefore concentrate on picking the grapes when it is fully developed, which results in a riper-style Semillon. The story of Epileptic Inspiration: "Epileptic Inspiration 2013? You have no respect!", a Swiss guy told me on a recent trip to Zurich. Since the beginning of BLANKbottle, I have been designing my own labels. At first, it was because there was absolutely no way I could afford designers. I made use of Microsoft Word, typed BLANKbottle, placed it into a block and played around with the colours - no designing skills required at all. And, to be honest, for the first 10 years I actually didn't like my labels much (besides maybe the honesty of it). Every year, I would again have to fight off the desire to employ professional label designers. For those of you who don't know this: I started having Epilepsy at the age of 30. Then in November 2013, whilst not on medication, I had another huge epileptic fit (the second one ever). So the Dr booked me off driving and surfing, yet again. When I have a fit, what happens to me at first is that I forget everything. My long term memory returns quite soon thereafter (within hours), but I find that my short term analytical memory takes about 2-3 months to return - if at all... And this is how I started to design my new labels for the 2013 wines. I could not look at the computer due to the flickering screen. So I started making use of scissors, paint, Lino, pencil and old paper. And the result: I think I had a breakthrough in design, inspiration of Epileptic proportions. So the drawing and design of my own labels came as a direct result of my epilepsy. And here’s the strange part which I cannot prove - I believe that something in my brain changed due to epilepsy. Before epilepsy I had no skill or desire to draw paint etc. Now I still don’t have the skill, but at least I like my labels! All 47 of the ones coming your way in 2019." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Im Hinterhofkabuff 2018

R375.00 inc. VAT
"The Im Hinterhofkabuff vineyard is small and is planted in pure yellow sandstone rock, vines trellised onto single poles - like they do in the Mosel, Germany. There is no irrigation and the slope is steep. It is exposed to the rough and gusty South-easter wind blowing straight from Hermanus. It is a cold and rugged site which produce very little grapes - some years resulting in only one barrel. The 2018 vintage produced two barrels. It is 100% Weisser Riesling, spontaneously fermented in old, small French Oak barrels. It is a concentrated riper style of Weisser Riesling. It has a firm acidity and mineral within the rich style. It will age beautifully (the current 2012 drinking beautifully at the moment). My aim is not to imitate German-style Rieslings - we try to capture the South African sunlight in this wine" - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Jimmy 2018

R250.00 inc. VAT
"A couple of decades ago a guy called Polla Brand drove the first Suzuki Jimny into South Africa from Namibia. The car ended up with a family member on a farm in the Voor Paardeberg. Come winter, the other vehicles struggled in the mud and slippery clay but the Suzuki, with its short wheelbase, cruised through really difficult terrain. Immediately gaining respect. From then on, the farmer, his son and his grandson (the current farmer) only drives Suzuki 4x4’s on the farm. The current farmer also happens to be the Western Cape champion, racing in the Dunes along the West Coast of South Africa - with his little hyped-up supercharged Suzuki - hence the inspiration for the label. Verdelho is a really interesting variety to farm with in South Africa. It loves heat and has this unique characteristic of maintaining high acid levels in really ripe conditions. This is a variety that you need to keep an eye on during harvest. It gains sugar at an immense rate with the challenge of picking it before it gets too ripe. Where most other wineries add tartaric acid, we prefer having a very early-picked Verdelho, at a low alcohol and a beyond-massive acid in the winery. We make use of this as a blending component to add acid and freshness. And this is the true power of Verdelho. But I felt that it was time to show the consumer the real personality of the varietal." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Nothing to Declare 2018

R280.00 inc. VAT
"They used various techniques, one of them being… tie it to your leg, drop your pants to cover it and walk through the NOTHING TO DECLARE section at the airport as if you have… NOTHING TO DECLARE - you know the feeling... Back in SA they would then reproduce and plant little vineyards, do trials on them and plant larger ones (to state the obvious: this was completely illegal, distributing diseases being the main risk). I, however, have seen first-hand that the type of farmer who went through all the effort to do this, is almost without fail completely passionate, super psyched-up, forward-thinking farmers/winemakers - serious producers. So they would, without a doubt, bring in clean, great quality vines. Nothing to Declare is a tribute to these vine smugglers. Providing us, the new generation winemakers, the foundation to take this industry to new heights. In 2012 and 2013 I made a wine that was driven by one of these illegally smuggled grape varieties. It was registered with the government as Chenin Blanc. I called it “Nothing to declare”. Since then this particular vineyard went through a process of amnesty and was now declared legal. So this wine grew from there, using that vineyard as a base and combining that with as many of the not so traditional South African varietals I have in the Winery. The 2016 ended up being 9 Varietals but in the 2018 we are down to 5 - fermented in old French Oak barrels aged for 1 year on the leese blended and bottled. The Label: I did a chalk drawing on the one side of one of the barrels - an image of vine cuttings tied to a man’s leg, about to be covered by his pants. After a few months, the image faded. To solidify the image, I engraved it into the wood like it was done in the olden days. So in February 2015, after bottling the first vintage, I needed a label. I bought printing ink and applied it to the surface of the carved image. I then placed a large piece of paper on it and made a print, which became the main image for the label." - Producer Note
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BLANKbottle Offspring 2017

R205.00 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