Wine Review of De Toren Fusion V

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Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon, 55%, Cabernet Franc 15%, Malbec 15%, Merlot 10%, Petit Verdot 5%

Facts

Fusion V is named after the blend of only the best of the five red Bordeaux grapes. You would therefore refer to this wine as a “Bordeaux Blend”.

Currently, vineyards in South Africa are undergoing a large-scale replanting program. With this, South Africa winemakers have collectively decided to focus on the five international grape varieties (Cab, Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In fact, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most widely planted red in South Africa, an honor that had previously belonged to Cinsault [pronounced San-so].

Wine in South Africa is nearly as old as the date of European settlement in the region, with records of vine plantings dating back to 1655.

They are kind of sticklers for details at De Toren. They make use of Infrared Aerial Imaging taken via helicopter so they can identify and isolate the various levels of vine growth throughout the vineyard. After this process they can monitor the vines for ripeness and harvest each batch separately.


South Africa MapPlace

The earliest South African vineyards were planted in 1655, with the first wine being made in 1659. It was the Dutch East India Company that decided that vineyards were needed, not just because their sailors wanted to get drunk, but more importantly to combat scurvy!

In South Africa, the higher quality wines are from regions generally closer to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean’s coastline. Towards the interior, it gets extremely hot and produces wines that are rough and overripe.

Stellenbosch is probably the best and most well-known of the South African wine regions – South Africa’s equivalent to Napa Valley. There are more than 80 wineries in the Stellenbosch region.

 

Taste

Super intense, definitely needing to be decanted. Ultra-dark in color, with blackberry and spice on the nose. The De Toren Fusion V is fairly medium-bodied on the palate, ripe and strong black fruits, coffee, licorice, dark chocolate -covered cherries, with well integrated oak. Even though the wine was bold, the tannins were fairly well balanced. Finishes elegant and dry. If you’re a Bordeaux drinker and looking for a little more fruit, this wine might quite possibly be for you.

The funny thing about this wine was that I appreciated it even more after the bottle was all gone. When the bottle was finished, the Mrs. and I moved on to one of my favorite affordable bottles of Californian wine (who shall remain nameless). The De Toren completely blew it out of the water! Granted the Californian bottle was half the price, but I got a new found appreciation for good South African wine after it was all gone!

I would REALLY like to see what the De Toren is capable of with 5+ years of cellaring!

 

Pairing

Pair the De Toren like you would a Bordeaux. Steak, duck, lamb, casseroles, venison etc…

 

Price

$39.99 (available online

No Comments

  • July 21, 2014

    JB

    Absolutely fantastic. Had it at Terranea Resort in So Cal. Put it up against a Glenn Beck Cab Sav. No comparison! And we were eating fish. Odd pairing but a truly outstanding blend.
    Can’t find it in bottle stores: need more! No telling what it would be like after a couple of more years resting…

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