A Stunner

It’s no secret that when the need arises I get my daily wine fix from Wine Concepts in Newlands. Wine Concepts are a small chain of boutique wine stores that are quintessential to wine retailing for both producers and consumers. Producers want to get in there because their clientele has a reputable knowledge on wine in general, a bank balance that allows for some indulgent purchases every now and again, and, most importantly, are willing to try different varieties and terroirs unknown to them. Consumers, on the other hand, would otherwise have to spend weeks off their daily lives travelling the entire Western Cape (and increasingly internationally as well) to get a spread of wines to match them.


wine concepts _logo


If this was a perfect world, I would find myself in their store every single afternoon for their free wine tastings that feature different producers each time. Unfortunately though, “life” has a way of interfering with ideals. But nonetheless, I am, for all intents and purposes, part of the furniture there; in part greatly due to their charming hospitality.

During one of my diligent days earlier one week, I glanced over at their hand-written “up-and-coming” list and registered a farm I had never heard of. The name read Karen and they would be carrying out Thursday’s tasting…

Come Thursday, in my trademark shorts, sandals and with my little black notebook I casually strolled in. The wine maker in this instance, Johan, was glad to entertain the two foreign gentlemen that had just walked in behind me, and myself for the tasting. One of them was considerably older; while both wore closed shoes :D.


I go no-where without it
I go no-where without it


He started us off with a 2010 Rosé, titled Karen. It was a no-nonsense rosé made from 100% Merlot. Poured in the glass, the wine gave off a reserved salmon hue; and as I brought it closer to my nose a whiff of pawpaw (papaya) and pineapple followed. The palate was perfectly balanced, elegant and refreshing; with the label reiterating its simplicity and luxury.




It truly was an impressive wine; however it isn’t the subject of this post…


... and elegant
… and elegant


The red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot is … It undeniably blew my mind! Having never heard of the farm I held absolutely no prior reservation about it; both conscious and sub-conscious. So while going through the motions, swirling the glass and chatting with the three gentlemen, it hit me! An unquestionable “WOW!” slipping out. Johan picking up on this, chuckled, a sly chuckle: almost as if he knew he had just gained a new fanatic! And all I’d done so far was nose it! But with each go countless layers of well-integrated aromas flooded my senses. It had my full attention now.


Lost for Words. Great Wax detail.
Lost for Words. Great Wax detail.


Finally, the enchantment let up… I sipped it. Savoury truffle oil engulfing ripe red fruit, which was backed by silky tannins and a salty finish. In an instant, I made up my mind. Anything less than R 200 and my cellar was going to grow by at least one! I could see myself opening up a bottle for those guests that deserve to be impressed… Each of them thrilled!! (2009 Vintage)

The two colours of wax coating the neck of the bottle added to the great attention to detail that had gone into this wine.


By now you've glanced down at the price...
By now you’ve glanced down at the price…


…I left empty-handed that afternoon. R 396 proving to be significantly out of my price range, for now. Nevertheless, I was glad to have discovered another stunning gem.



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