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Douglas Green The Cattleman's Club Red Blend, Western Cape 2020

Red Wine from South Africa
A Cape Blend with the essential pinotage complemented by shiraz, delivering sweet and spicy fruit with a lick of oak just right for a summer barbecue.
Price: £8.75 Bottle
Price: £52.50 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: SA17631

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Pinotage
  • 14% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Cork, agglomerate

South Africa

South Africa is undoubtedly one of the world's most dynamic wine producers. Established winemakers re-emerged onto the international scene in the early 1990s, following the demise of the apartheid era, and new wines, wineries, highly qualified winemakers, and even new regions have appeared steadily ever since. This makes South Africa more exciting than ever, but more complicated, too.

Most South African wines are varietally labelled - a key factor in any buying decision. Styles vary of course, and our notes aim to clarify this, but you will probably already know whether you like sauvignon blanc (now among the world's best), chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir, or cabernet.

South Africa's most famous grapes - white chenin blanc and red pinotage - will be less familiar unless you are already a convert. South African chenins are quite different from those in the Loire - almost always dry, but ripe and full of flavour (often with the complexity that comes from the increasingly...
South Africa is undoubtedly one of the world's most dynamic wine producers. Established winemakers re-emerged onto the international scene in the early 1990s, following the demise of the apartheid era, and new wines, wineries, highly qualified winemakers, and even new regions have appeared steadily ever since. This makes South Africa more exciting than ever, but more complicated, too.

Most South African wines are varietally labelled - a key factor in any buying decision. Styles vary of course, and our notes aim to clarify this, but you will probably already know whether you like sauvignon blanc (now among the world's best), chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir, or cabernet.

South Africa's most famous grapes - white chenin blanc and red pinotage - will be less familiar unless you are already a convert. South African chenins are quite different from those in the Loire - almost always dry, but ripe and full of flavour (often with the complexity that comes from the increasingly sought-after old-vine fruit and the use of oak). Pinotage, a South African creation, is for many a love-it-or-hate-it grape. Pinotage's 'parents' are pinot noir, which imparts its strawberry aromas and lovely texture in young wines, and more complex, farmyard characteristics in more mature examples, and cinsault, the southern French grape, which adds spice and body. It was developed in South Africa in 1926. Shiraz is now making a name for itself in South Africa with some superb examples bottled varietally and showing characteristics that often places it between the plush New World style pioneered by Australia and classic Rhône balance and elegance.

More significant in South Africa than much of the New World (notably New Zealand and Chile) are blends, which make selection more complicated, as the style of the wine is less easy to anticipate. As in Australia and California, however, many of the best wines here are blends - a sign of maturity in the industry. Bordeaux blends were favoured initially but there are increasing numbers of Rhône and southern French influenced blends, including some eclectic mixes, many of which are among South Africa’s best wines.

The Regions

The vineyards of South Africa are at a latitude of about 35o south, with hot, dry Mediterranean-type summers tempered by oceanic influences in the south, particularly the very cold Benguela Current. Much of the country is mountainous or hilly with a multitude of terroirs for winemakers to play with. Soils are ancient and complex, and many and varied from region to region, and even vineyard to vineyard. Rainfall is very varied from one area to another, largely depending which side of a mountain or range a vineyard lies on, and in some parts irrigation is essential.

South Africa’s rigorous Wine Of Origin scheme demarcates vineyard areas, including some single vineyards, and guarantees the geographical source of the wine much like the old French appellation contrôllée system recently renamed AOP, though there are no controls on yields and grape varieties as there are in France..

Bordeaux-style blends are one of the Stellenbosch region's great strengths. Wines such as Kanonkop's Paul Sauer, Meerlust's Rubicon and Warwick's Trilogy are South African icons, produced over many years, and with proven ageing capacity. The striking Simonsberg mountain names the ward (or area) most highly sought after for these reds, but Stellenbosch produces a wide range of wine styles, from excellent chenin blancs and sauvignons to robust pinotage and Cape Blends.

Paarl is its less-well-known neighbour, also warm, and best known for its robust but smooth reds. Franschhoek is understandably one of the most-visited towns in the Cape (with lots of French Huguenot history and some of the best restaurants in the region). It has a number of famous producers, most notably Boekenhoutskloof, but most do not produce exclusively from Franschhoek fruit. Cape Chamonix is an exception we rate highly, producing a wide range of wine styles from bubbly to cabernet franc led red blend Troika.

The generally warmer Swartland region has been at the forefront of the development of Rhône varietals in South Africa, led by stars such as Eben Sadie, as well as home to some of the best old chenin blanc vines. Further north, and much cooler is Citrusdal, where fresher styles are produced and chenin blanc can achieve real finesse.

The Cape peninsula, to the south of Cape Town itself, is home to Constantia, known for its cooler climate thanks to the influence of the two oceans that almost circle it. Here, sauvignon blanc and the Bordeaux grapes predominate, but there are lovely examples of aromatic varieties too, notably Klein Constantia's elegant riesling and its wonderful sweet muscat Vin de Constance, and the vibrant sauvignon blancs from Cape Point vineyards to the south. Rhône varietals are successful new additions.

Elgin, en route to Hermanus, is another very cool region, very much up-and-coming for sauvignon blanc, as is Elim, which is even further south and the source of our former Exhibition Sauvignon. Robertson is almost due north of Elim, but way inland and far hotter. A small number of family producers manage to make excellent sauvignon here, too, but it is also a good source of chardonnay, increasingly pinot noir, and elegantly styled pinotage and Rhône varietals, not forgetting the excellent fortified muskadels which are unique to the Cape.

The most important factor in deciding whether or not to buy is often the producer's name. This is easily achieved when some of the grandest 'old' names, such as Meerlust, Hamilton Russell, Kanonkop, and Klein Constantia, still rank among the country's best producers. Where it gets trickier is when the winery is new, has no track record, or the winemaker is not a household name.
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Douglas Green Wines

Douglas Green truly bucked the South African winemaking trend by becoming one of the country's first 'négociants' back in the first half of the 20th century. His unconventional approach was certainly risky, but has definitely paid off, as the company is now one of the most respected in South Africa and exports its wines to over 50 countries.

During the First World War, Douglas Green Senior served in the navy. After the war, he remained in Europe, and gained valuable experience working in the Champagne region. This wasn't his only qualification, though - he also gained viticulturist and oenologist qualifications at Elsenburg, South Africa's famous wine school.

In 1938, he bought a local winery in Paarl, and in 1942 it was renamed Douglas Green & Company. Since the beginning, Douglas Green's philosophy has been to source the Cape's best grapes, and create fruity, easy-drinking wines. Crucial to the consistency and excellent quality of the company's wines is Douglas Green's revolutionary attitude to blending. He believed that South Africa's best vineyards shouldn't be isolated, but instead should be skilfully combined to produce wines greater than the sum of their parts.

Today, Douglas Green & Co has a team of expert viticulturists who have worked hard to forge longstanding relationships with their appointed growers, which span from the cool coastal mountains in the West to the sunny Breede River Valley.

Like many of the strictest, most respected négociants in France,...
Douglas Green truly bucked the South African winemaking trend by becoming one of the country's first 'négociants' back in the first half of the 20th century. His unconventional approach was certainly risky, but has definitely paid off, as the company is now one of the most respected in South Africa and exports its wines to over 50 countries.

During the First World War, Douglas Green Senior served in the navy. After the war, he remained in Europe, and gained valuable experience working in the Champagne region. This wasn't his only qualification, though - he also gained viticulturist and oenologist qualifications at Elsenburg, South Africa's famous wine school.

In 1938, he bought a local winery in Paarl, and in 1942 it was renamed Douglas Green & Company. Since the beginning, Douglas Green's philosophy has been to source the Cape's best grapes, and create fruity, easy-drinking wines. Crucial to the consistency and excellent quality of the company's wines is Douglas Green's revolutionary attitude to blending. He believed that South Africa's best vineyards shouldn't be isolated, but instead should be skilfully combined to produce wines greater than the sum of their parts.

Today, Douglas Green & Co has a team of expert viticulturists who have worked hard to forge longstanding relationships with their appointed growers, which span from the cool coastal mountains in the West to the sunny Breede River Valley.

Like many of the strictest, most respected négociants in France, members of the Douglas Green team are on hand to sample and inspect the fruit at every stage of the growing process, advising each individual grower on what he needs to do to get the best from the vintage, whether that's creating leafy canopies or thinning the yield where bunches aren't concentrated enough. All individual grape varieties are vinified separately according to their individual needs.
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South Africa Vintage 2020

With such an inauspicious start to an unforgettable year, few even dreamed of such a good 2020 harvest. It was clear that volumes would be down – which can be good for quality, of course – but the weather brought a few early challenges in the vineyards and the grapes’ normally orderly progression to ripeness turned into quite a scramble. But nature has an astonishing way of managing even multiple challenges, smoothing out extremes to allow mother (vine) to give her very best to her offspring (the grapes). The 2020 harvest was a gift to bring smiles to a troubled industry.

2020 vintage reviews
2019 vintage reviews

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