These 5 bottles show just how exciting South African wines can be

Here are five delicious wines from South Africa’s Stellenbosch region. They demonstrate the quality and value of South African wines reaching our markets.

Remhoogte Vantage Pinotage 2016

Pinotage is South Africa’s signature red grape, a cross of pinot noir and cinsault created nearly a century ago. The wines are often dull at best. Remhoogte’s Vantage Pinotage, however, is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It is savory and deep, almost syrah-like with some characteristics of the northern Rhone. Absolutely delicious, it improves over a night or two, so give it time to open up and strut its stuff. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.

Imported and distributed by Well Crafted Wine & Beverage Co.: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Dean & DeLuca, Eye Street Cellars, the Wine Outlet. Available in Maryland at Ronnie’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Forest Hill, Roundabout Fine Wine & Spirits in Laurel. Available in Virginia at Branch & Vine, Ellwood Thompson’s Natural Market and Union Market in Richmond, Cheesetique (all locations), Classic Wines in Great Falls, Fern Street Gourmet and Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Grape & Gourmet, Lubo Wine Tasting Room and Yiannis Wine Shop in Virginia Beach, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Sonny’s Fine Wine and Beer in Henrico, Swirl & Sip in Fairfax, Uncork’d in Suffolk, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).

Kaapzicht Kaleidoscope 2017

This is a terrific red blend based on cabernet sauvignon and pinotage, with a few other varieties for spice. It is racy and vibrant with dark fruit flavors and refreshing acidity. Enjoy this with burgers or steak from the grill, or just a good movie. ABV: 14 percent.

Imported by Red Wolf Imports, distributed by Global Wines: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Watergate Vintners & Spirits, Wine & Butter. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine and Co. in Bethesda, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring.

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