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Fans of South African wine

Steve Oct 22, 2003 11:21 PM

Had a great wine at Ray's the Steaks-Onyx "Kroon"-a 50/50 pinotage/shiraz blend. This is the first half-way decent pinotage wine I've ever had and it was brilliant-a definite bargain. Just wondering if anyone knows anything about the wine or where I might find it retail.


  1. w
    winedawg100 Apr 25, 2011 02:51 PM

    Hello steve and others that have posted on the subject of South African wines. I live in Maryland and Work for Protea Wine. We are the Importer and Distributor of South African Wines.
    We have some excellent Pinotages in our Portfolio as well as other delicious resonably priced wines. I guarantee you will not be dissappointed in our selection especially the Pinotage!!! We recently had a table at the International Food and Wine Festival in D.C. and we were well received. We featured a pinotage from the Eikendal Vineyard out of Stellenbosch that was off the chain and was stated by the couple thousands of people that attended to be their top favorite pinotage. To find out where our wines are sold in Maryland check out our website at www.proteawine.com. If you would to email us please do at proteawineimporters@comcast.net.

    1. w
      Wessel Rauch (Chairman Darling Cellars) Nov 26, 2003 01:11 PM

      The contact details of our New agent in USA follows:
      USA Loest & McNamee Inc
      +914 954-6583
      +215 727-4456

      Darling Cellars Bebsite: http://www.darlingcellars.co.za/

      This site has all the info of our wines and Agents worldwide

      1. d
        Darling Cellars - South Africa Nov 25, 2003 03:43 AM

        Dear Steve

        I am glad to hear that Onyx Kroon are rated by you as one of the best wines tasted so far. Please get in contact with me if you are interested in purchasing some of these wines offered by Darling Cellars. You can go to our website on www.darlingcellars.co.za

        Kindest regards

        1 Reply
        1. re: Darling Cellars - South Africa
          Joe H. Nov 25, 2003 08:08 AM

          For those reading this the Wine Spectator rates their cab an 88 and the Onyx Kroom an 89, particularly strong ratings considering their respective prices. If this winery will sell direct these will be spectacular bargains depending on the price and cost of shipping. We do not have many S. A. wines available to us here; if more knew just how good they are, especially in relation to their price they would be much more popular. One of the best bargains I have ever tasted was from Jordan, another South African winery. Their cabernet is about $8 or 9 there. I have a friend who bought six cases and shipped them back. We both thought it drank exactly like a good $30 bottle!

        2. p
          Pieter Nov 25, 2003 01:07 AM

          I am glad to read that you enjoy the kroon. My family is part of Darling Cellars and it feels good to get positive feedback after a lot of work that has been put in over the past years.

          Just a few corrections on a previous comment. The winemaker is Abe Beukes, very well respected in SA. There is no grenache in te Kroon.

          I live in France and is strarting to commercialise the wine over here, the difficult French palate also adores the Kroon


          1. j
            Joe B Oct 24, 2003 09:19 AM

            You should also try the wines from Grahan-Beck; A well made Cabernet, the Ridge Shiraz and a delicious Pinotage. Well made wines and a great value. Graham-Beck wines are distributed by A Vintner's Selection in MD.

            Link: http://www.grahambeckwines.co.za/html...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joe B
              Spade Oct 24, 2003 04:53 PM

              Those Graham Beck wines are indeed fantastic. I had some at a tasting awhile back. Do you happen to know a store in DC that carries them?

            2. c
              Carl Oct 23, 2003 01:54 PM

              Kroon is one of the Onyx range of wines from Darling Cellars in Swartland, SA and is a high-end wine. Kroon occasionally has a little grenache in it in addition to the shiraz and pinotage and is rated highly in the annual "John Platter's Guide to South African Wines." Since 1996, the winemaker for this wine has been Johan Nesenberend. The wine is imported into this area by Southern Oceans Trading Systems which is owned by Rick Stafford of The Plains, VA (www.sotswyn.com, (703-257-4333). I'm not sure of the distribution, but a call to Rick will certainly put you on the trail of what you have discovered is a delicious wine.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Carl
                Steve Oct 23, 2003 02:47 PM

                Thanks for the info...anyone else who hasn't tried this wine and thinks South African wine is swill, should give it a shot!

              2. b
                Bill Oct 23, 2003 12:35 PM

                Actually, there is a new importer, distributor in maryland that specializes in south african wines. Not many restaurants/wine stores carry them yet, But I have added quite a few at the Sputnik Cafe and I know that both Bin 604 and Chesepeake Wine Company in Baltimore deals with them. Until I tried their wines (moreson and pinecrest being my favorite pinotages), I had diffuculty finding anything from south africa that was worth drinking.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Bill
                  Frank Oct 23, 2003 02:51 PM

                  Actually, the importer is Southern Oceans in Manassas,I'm not sure, but I think they sell to D.C. and MD as well...anyway, Onyx is without a doubt the best SA wine available in the states-their parent company, Darling Cellars, is very well-known and respected in SA and Europe-well worth seeking out at your local retailers.

                  1. re: Frank
                    Bill Oct 24, 2003 11:01 AM

                    The importer/distributor i am refering to is Boutique Vineyards who import as wine@34south. They are local (they moved from South Africa to Annapolis about a year ago) and distribute up and down the east coast. If you like onyx, this couple import some great wines like beaumont (a great shiraz and bourdeax style blend)and moreson (my favorite pinotage.)

                  2. re: Bill
                    stretch Oct 24, 2003 06:32 PM

                    I am a great admirer of South African wines, the true quality of which is starting to become apparent now that the better exemplars are finally being exported out to the United States. An excellent source is Southern Wines, (www.southernwines.com), a California mail order outfit who have a very good selection and decent prices. I wouldn't recommend Pinotage as a place to start, though, as it's rustic nature tends not to appeal to American palates more attuned to forward fruit. I, personally, think South African Shiraz is the way to go right now. The Saxenburg, De Trafford and Fairview estates all make great examples that, at around $15, easily stand up to Aussie counterparts costing twice as much. Enjoy!

                    1. re: stretch
                      Steve Oct 26, 2003 12:15 AM

                      My experience w/pinotage has been very bad...maybe the fact that the Onyx Kroon is blended with Shiraz is the reason it tastes so good. The wine had a definite nose of pinotage-an interesting banana thing, but was smooth, fuller bodied, spicy and rich. If you have a chance, at Ray's or elsewhere, you should definitly try it.

                    2. re: Bill
                      Joe H. Oct 24, 2003 10:26 PM

                      Respectfully, but South Africa has some wonderful wine including Ernie Ells which arguably is their best red. Of all things two cases of this showed up on opening day at the new Costco in Chantilly for $59.95. That's a bargain. It's complex with a fair amount of oak and a great deal of depth. Outstanding. A second bottle with decanting and four hours of breathing was even better. Last night we opened a Quilceda Creek and an Ernie Ells. There was just no comparison; Quilceda Creek is legendary in Washington, selling for about 75 to 80 a bottle.

                      In Cape Town you can buy Jordan for about US $6.00; here it is sold under the name Justin and sells for about 18-19. Were it not for the 300% markups of importing South African wine into the U. S. these would be in league with any Chilean bargain, with a wine like Ernie Ells, perhaps better than anything from there and equal to many better Californian reds.

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