Eighth Wonder Wines is a new South African producer now exporting wines to the US. Our reviews of its portfolio of current releases are given below. We find two wines—the 2011 Pinotage and the 2012 Meritage Reserve—to be especially good values as well as being delicious.
Created and owned by US organic food entrepreneur Matt Grove, Eighth Wonder Wines purchases fruit from selected, sustainably farmed vineyards in the Western Cape. Winemaker Therese de Beer shows a fine touch in crafting flavorful wines that reflect South Africa’s diverse terroir. She’s a graduate of the enology and viticulture program at Stellenbosch University and previously made wine with Boela Gerber at Groot Constantia.
Eighth Wonder 2011 Lively Grove Pinotage Stellenbosch ($18) 89 This is an easy drinking Pinotage that shows dark cherry complemented by hints of vanilla bean and tobacco. It has a silky smooth mouth feel that will win a lot of fans. Matured for 18 months in used French oak barrels. A very appealing wine.
Eighth Wonder 2012 Silver Tree Meritage Reserve Western Cape ($28) 90 The Meritage Reserve is a classic Bordeaux blend that reveals dark fruit with earthy notes of dried tobacco leaf. It has a very nice, suave and juicy feel and smoked meat nuances. Densely flavored with fine, firm tannins. Superb value! A blend of 45% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec, and 6% Petit Verdot.
Eighth Wonder 2013 Silver Tree Meritage Coastal Region ($15) 87 The 2013 Meritage is a youthful, shy wine. It’s medium weight and reticent on the palate with a distinct savory and underbrush character, finishing with dry tannins. Needs food to show its best.
Eighth Wonder 2012 Cape Cauldron Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch ($50) 90+ The Cape Cauldron Cabernet opens with scents of cassis and cedar. It shows good weight on the palate and has an attractive ferrous quality that complements the pure dark fruit, finishing with persistence and refined but assertive tannins. Matured for 24 months in French oak.