2013 Graham Beck Chardonnay The Game Reserve, South Africa, Coastal Region, Wine Review

This is probably a bit past its prime and was being closed out for $9 a bottle.  At that price, some people will love this wine.  The key is they have to like oak.  Medium to deep golden in color.  The nose has noticeable fresh cut lumber along with nice lemon cream and vanilla.  The palate matches the nose though the fruit is not as strong.  It seems slightly out of balance at this point and it seems doubtful there is enough fruit to outlast the oak.  The finish is a bit clipped.  At $9, this is a good value and at least one person drinking it with me proclaimed ho much he loved oak filled

2009 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, South Africa, Wine Review

One of the great dessert wines over the last couple hundred years.  Made from Muscat de Frontignan.  Deep amber orange in color.  The nose is very nice with honey and slight apricot.  On the palate this is slightly sweet, not cloying.  Honey and a bit more intense apricots.  Long finish.  Seep and complex, this is still young and there is some upside.  

NV Graham Beck Brut Pinot Noir Chardonnay, South Africa, Western Cape, Wine Review

Beck sparkling wines are some of the best values in sparkling wines. This retails for around $17 and is a quality dry sparkling wine.  Light golden in color.  Lots of small bubbles.  The nose is all about the minerals with a dusty quality as well.  Ever so very slightly sweet on the palate.  Minerals and lemon oil.  Would go with a wide variety of foods.  Has some depth and complexity.  Really enjoyable.  

2013 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound, South Africa, Stellenbosch, Wine Review

39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 14% Malbec and 9% Petit Verdot.  This is a Bordeaux styled wine from South Africa.  It sells for under $20 making it a very nice buy.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is very nice; dusty and complex with cassis, tobacco, some bell pepper.  On the palate, this has a chewy texture.  Nice complexity.  Cassis, dark cherries with enough acid.  Good finish.  Drinking well now and won't get better but should hold for another five years at least.  

2009 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, South Africa, Wine Review

This is history in a bottle.  One of the great wines from South Africa and still a great dessert wine.  Light golden in color.  The nose is honeyed with apricots and peach.  On the palate, this is sweet without being cloying.  Honey and apricots.  A bit of acidity.  Worked well with food.  A little goes a long way but it is delicious.  

NV Graham Beck Brut Rosé, South Africa, Western Cape, Wine Review

Salmon orange in color.  A nice mousse with small to medium bubbles.   The nose is very nice with strawberries and light lemon notes.  There is a nice depth to this wine although it turns a bit flabby on the palate.  Given that this sells for under $20, that isn't the worst thing in the world.  It is tasty and makes a nice inexpensive but festive sparkler.  

NV Graham Beck Brut Rosé, South Africa, Western Cape - Wine Review

Even better than the regular Brut.  Another great value in sparkling wine from South Africa.  This has a pale silvery pink color.  The nose is elegant with slight cherries and minerals.  Nice mousse.  On the palate, very crisp acidity.  It begs for food but it fine on its own.  Light cherries and minerals.  Crisp finish.  Lovely wine.  

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Truchard Pinot Noir and MR Mvemve Raats de Compostella

Wines to Go Buy This Week: A Carneros Pinot Noir by Truchard and a South African Bordeaux Style Red by the (barely pronounceable) MR Mvemve Raats. As frequent IntoWine readers know, in November we are launching our own wine club, The IntoWine Club , in partnership with the California Wine Club (more info on the club here if you are interested). While there are a lot of moving parts, how it works is that the folks at California Wine Club ship me wine samples that are being considered for future club shipments and then I provide feedback and such about the wines that will be included in those shipments. Recently I received my first batch of samples and, let me tell you, I am thrilled about the quality of the wines. I simply can not wait for our club to launch in November. With this in mind, I give you this week's installment of "Wines to Go Buy This Week": Truchard Pinot Noir 2006 - Was going to wait to recommend this until our IntoWine Club launch the first week of November but I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag early. This Truchard Pinot Noir is one of the wines being considered and I could not be more pleased to share the news that this wine is going to be in the inaugural IntoWine Club shipment. So what about the wine itself? For me a tell-tale sign of a good wine is that it is delicious and easy to drink from the first sip to the very last and always leaves you wanting more . The Truchard Pinot Noir passes that test with flying colors. From the Carneros region of Napa, Truchard Pinot Noir is an ideal wine for anyone curious about discovering Northern California Pinot Noir. It's also reasonably priced at approx $35 retail. "Reasonable" is relative of course as some might say $35 for a wine is outrageously expensive. For a quality Carneros Pinot though, this is priced more than fairly as you can certainly pay much more than this for a similar wine. As for the IntoWineClub, you can sign up here if you are interested.