Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rating: ***+ $ Man Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, South Africa - Wine Review (BEST VALUE)

Original Review, April, 2009: Some interesting dark red wines are coming from South Africa. Some can be pricey, coming from low-yield vines in well-known, well-regarded regions like Stellenbosch and Paarl. In contrast, the Man Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a range of vineyards in the Agtar and Paarl coastal areas of the Western Cape region of South Africa. It is a value-priced offering which has seen some time in American oak.

In the glass, this is medium dusty red, almost a bit brick at the edges. Aroma is moderately bold and fruity - it has that distinctive "inside of a new balloon" element. On the palate, an intriguing black smoke and oak commingles with full fruit in the middle of the mouth. There is also a spicy pepper that tickles the upper palate, as the tannins and acids spread. Moderately length finish, finishing with a tone of spice. Three stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for true distinctiveness; and a stunning value at very modest price.

Man Vintners makes a range of other South African varietals - this sample does make me curious about those. This example competes very favorably with Australian value wines (the ones that often have kangaroos or other furry creatures on the label).

Updated Review, almost two years later, January, 2011:  The color is unchanged, still medium deep red, with brick at the edge.  Aroma has lost the helium, but retains the bold, deep fruit elements.  Remarkably, the palate has held almost unaltered, still showing the distinctive combination of smoke, fruit, and balanced tannins and acids.  Holding up extremely well after five years in the bottle.

Find Man Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon at WineZap.


  1. Thanks! You've convinced me to try a bottle, although this one will surely be a newer vintage. :-)

  2. Man's Chenin Blanc is a great deal too.