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Stark-Condé Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2018

  • $34.00
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Stark-Condé Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2018

 From our April 2023 Explorer Bottle Clubs:


Stark-Condé Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2018

South Africa is stunning. I was lucky enough to take a trip there just before the 2020 lockdown and was fortunate to visit Stellenbosch, South Africa’s premiere winegrowing region. Located just an hour’s drive east of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is very much akin to the Napa Valley: lush, manicured vineyards, a concentration of wealth poured into wineries that are strikingly gorgeous, and exceptional hospitality— all built to take advantage of perfect climatic and geologic conditions of the region. Stellenbosch sits only 15 miles from South Africa’s southwestern coastline. At 33 degrees latitude, it soaks up Mediterranean-like sunshine and weather and benefits from the seasonal Southeasters. Stellenbosch is an ideal site for vineyards to flourish and for fruit to ripen slowly and fully, developing complex flavors and aromas. The soil in Stellenbosch is well-draining, with a mix of granite, sandstone, and shale, allowing the vines to produce grapes with deep concentration and structure.
Stark-Condé winery lies close to the mouth of the impressive Jonkershoek Valley. Here, the steep mountain ranges jut up on either side of the valley, densely forested by the natural fauna of Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, a Unesco World Heritage Site. 80% of the Stark-Condé estate remains rugged and untouched bush. Their Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are the hallmark of the estate. Winemaker Rüdger van Wyk utilizes fruit from four organically-farmed estate vineyards to create a Bordeaux-inspired wine of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc.  Winemaking is kept simple and natural. All fermentations begin with native yeast in open-top vats. Daily punch-downs of the grape skins extract the gorgeous color and aromas. The finished wine is aged in French oak barrels for 22 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The 2018 vintage is generous, plush, and full-bodied. Classic aromas of black plums, violet flowers, juicy black figs, sweet tobacco, and a long vanilla-driven finish. This wine is velvety and deserves a hearty food pairing. Try this with a pan-seared steak, burgers-on-the-grill, or a creamy and funky cheese plate. This wine is very delicious now, so we won’t judge you if you can’t hold it aside for the next few years!   —Simi Grewal