BROADBENT SELECTIONS: LIFE IS GOOD
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“Life is good” that exhale after a great meal with great friends and wine. That is the feeling that Broadbent selections wants to always bring to the table. Broadbent strives for this feeling with ever wine they represent. They want to provide wines that gratify the soul. Founded in 1996 with a focus on family owned wineries, places with personality and stories about wines that come from the heart. Broadbent Selections was founded by Bartholomew Broadbent, the son of the 24th Master Sommolier and world renowned wine authority Michael Broadbent. Bartholomew broke through on his own establishing his import company in America. HE imports some of the finest wines from around the world. He also has created the label Broadbent wines where he produces wine from Portugal, Austria, South Africa, and Napa Valley. With far too many accolades to name or I would have you reading for a while, lets just say the South African portfolio is what makes this book one of my top 5 favorite and trusted Importers I have encountered.
Enough about all of the logistics of who they are lets talk about the amazing producers they represent. I have met quite a few of these guys and they fit everything Broadbent strives for. They are all interesting, kind, hilarious, smart, creative people you want making your wine. You feel a passion and sense of care when these producers are around you and when you drink their wine. You can feel in every sip the passion and care all of these producers put into each bottle.
AA. Badenhorst Wines: Started by a pair of cousins Adi and Hein Badenhorst. Adi makes the wine and is the only one so far I have had the pleasure of meeting. He has gained the reputation of being funny and a great time. He is beloved by the entire South African community and everything he does. He grew up among the vines learning from his grandfather who managed Groot Constantina for 46 years. At 13 he made his first vintage with Jean Daniel. He studied at Elenburg and went on to work in France and New Zealand but eventually found himself back home to work for Rstenberg. 2008 the pair of Cousins purchased a farm known as Kalmoesfontein in paardeberg. They restored the cellar and had been neglected since the 30s. These wines are true to South Africa and everything their amazing vines have to offer. The work they do with Chenin Blanc and other interesting varieties such as Grenache, Cinsault, and Toriga national, there is always something brilliant and interesting to taste.
Alheit Vineyards: One of the leading producers of premium Chenin Blanc in South Africa. They have a golden touch when it comes to Chenin. Chris and Suzann based Alheit vineyards out of Hemelrand a mountain farm in Walker Bay. Only focusing on white wine varieties they aim for precision never bulk,. They care deeply for the sights they contract fruit from and have authority over how it is farmed. They do very little to their wines to manipulate the fruit away from the natural flavors they produces. This husband and wife team make beautiful Chenin Blanc.
Beaumont Family Wines: “The Beaumont family story is one where fable and fantasy merge - a story where wine, food and family are always at the center of the narrative - a story in which a family filled with big-hearted and impassionate people, strive to capture the essence of happiness, be it in the cellar, in the kitchen or sitting on a farmhouse stoop. It is a story that applauds the efforts of the everyday and the memories that are made through generous sharing of the spoils of the land.” This farm is also home to the oldest wine cellar steeped in history dating back to 1700’s! 2004 Sebastian took over the winemaking from his late father who was doing the winemaking. The Beaumont family began production in 1974 and has always been family focused.
Beeslar: Abrie Beeslar winemaker for one of South Africa’s most esteemed stellenbosh properties Kanonkop. South Africa’s national red variety is the grape Pinotage, it is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault and was created in 1925. Abrie is known as the man who makes the finest most refined premium Pinotage in South Africa.Beeslaar Wines is a small family-run business, specializing in the production of handcrafted, high-end Pinotage wines, originating from a single-vineyard site in the heart of the Cape Winelands. His love affair with Pinotage led him to establishing the brand in 2011, with the aim to produce wines that embody and personify the many beautiful characteristics of a grape variety that was born and bred in South African soils.
Vilfonte: Vilafonté is the fi st American and South African joint wine-making venture. This ground-breaking red wine project is a partnership between a respected group of wine specialists from South Africa (Mike Ratcliffe) and the United States (Zelma Long and Dr. Phil Freese). The name Vilafonté is derived from the primary soil type of the 100-acre estate. Recorded as one of the oldest soil types in the world (somewhere between 750 000 and 1.5mil years old), this character forms the foundation of these wines The age of the soil is important as it is deeply evolved and has been stripped of much of its inherent capacity, that encourages smaller vines, lower yields and highly concentrated fruit.
Savage: Duncan Savage is the mastermind behind Savage Wines. Calling him a mastermind makes it sound like he is some crazy evil scientist trying to take over the world, but in reality he is a down to earth guy who just wants to make wine and surf. Duncan is probably one of my favorite winemakers out of South Africa and if you check out the rest of the South African department you will see many more of his wines. They all are made in a classic style with influences of old world winemakers, using minimal intervention techniques as well as keeping his wines in balance with lower alcohol and high acidity. Up until 2011 he was the winemaker for Cape Point Vineyards in South Africa. 2011 he started Savage Wines to produce a line of wines that fit his style. Working at Cape Point he learned how to make wine from vineyards with maritime climates and decomposed granite soils aka sand. He takes this a step further by implementing his minimal intervention techniques and only using vineyards that are cared for by hand and are sure to be loved on the entire growing season.
De Westshof: This estate was the first registered winery in Robertson Valley and was founded back in 1949 releasing its first commercial vintage in 1970. De Westshof is known as a Chardonnay house due to its crucial role of introducing the noble variety in South Africa. The De Wet family’s winemaking heritage can be traced back to 1694 when the first De Wets arrived at the Cape and immediately made a mark on the South African wine industry. Today, De Wetshof is one of the few third generation wine estates in South Africa. Here Danie de Wet, proprietor and cellarmaster, is assisted by sons Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker). De Wetshof Estate’s wines express the uniqueness of the soils of the Estate and meticulous attention to detail, while state-of-the-art technology ensures that the work in the cellar complements the gifts of natures vineyards.