There are a few producers in South Africa I have come to appreciate enough that I will pretty much buy anything they put their name on. Rustenberg is one. Rust En Vrede, and Warwick are two more. Among these producers Warwick is pretty much the easiest one I can find in the Buffalo area and I assume that goes for other small markets in the US.
This bottle of Warwick First Lady 2008 is available at Premium Wines & Spirits for about $15. Having had the delicious Three Cape Ladies Blend from Warwick, I was more than eager to give this 97% Cabernet Sauvignon with 3% Petit Verdot wine a go. I have to admit that I generally stay away from Cabernet Sauvignon unless it’s from cooler climates but I figured this one would have enough character to keep my attention.
This nicely extracted Cab showed juicy aromas of black currant, blackberry and other sweet black fruits with layers of smoke and charcoal. I also picked up some savory cured meat notes, which I am always a fan of. The palate was generously smooth with delicate tannins allowing just enough grip to be noticeable.
Overall it was a very easy going Cabernet Sauvignon. The smoke and meat aromas gave it its distinctive South African personality, which was definitely what I was hoping for with this purchase. Next time you’re looking a mid priced Cabernet I’d skip California, ignore South America and head straight to the SA section of your store and look for this one.