Why should you care? Talented winemaker Adi Badenhorst, who was responsible for many world-class wines and endless experimentation during his decade at the beautiful Rustenberg Wines estate in Stellenbosch, set out on his own several years back, purchasing significant acreage in the up-and-coming Swartland area with his cousin, including some old bush vines of grenache and cinsault. Farming organically and vinifying in a low-tech manner, he focuses on South Africa’s mainstay white grape chenin blanc and blends from Rhone valley red varieties. From his top range to a new line-up of $10 bottles, his wines offer excellent quality/price rapport.
What does it taste like? Badenhorst’s Secateurs range of wines, which also include grapes purchased from a neighbor, are his best values of all, suitable for casual drinkers and serious winos alike. The 2011 Secateurs Red Blend Coastal Region, which is based on shiraz and cinsault, offers musky strawberry and candied raspberry aromas complemented by spices, minerals and smoke. It’s suave and seamless in the mouth, with insidious saline minerality giving shape to the almost liqueur-like red berry and saline flavors. With its silky finish, fine dusting of tannins and lingering sweetness, it’s distinctly Old World in the best sense. My rating: 90 points.
How much does it cost, and where can you find it? $18; Broadbent Selections, San Francisco, CA