Welcome to The South African Wine Society (SAWS)
The South African Wine Society, now in its 20th year, is a non-profit wine tasting club focused on promoting knowledge about and access to South African wines in Canada. This is achieved by hosting informative wine tastings, relaxed social; dinners and providing members with an opportunity to savour wines which are readily available, as well as vintage collections from our carefully stocked cellar.
Why not join the Society and embark on a journey discovering the wines and foods of remarkable South Africa and its leading wine producing regions? Learn about our Wine Cellar – a hidden member benefit.
De Toren is a boutique operation established by Emil and Sonette Den Dulk in 1994. The site for the vineyards was selected based on the location (and the view!) with breathtaking vistas extending from Table Mountain in the West, Cape Point in the South, False Bay, Hang Klip and ends with Helderberg and Stellenbosch Mountains in the East.
The farm was named De Toren which translated from Dutch means the tower and refers to the winery structure which allows for gravityflow winemaking. The farms maiden release was the 1999 vintage Fusion V a cabernet sauvignon driven five varietal Bordeaux style blend, a first for South Africa wine industry.
The 1999 vintage received a gold medal from the IWSC competition and 90 points by both Parker and Wine Spectator, placing DE TOREN amongst the world elite. Later vintages have continued to build upon that reputation, gathering numerous accolades and featured on the short list of wines deemed worthy of 5 STARS by John Platter.
Emil Den Dulk, Owner
In 1994 Emil and Sonette were searching for a special property in the Cape. When they arrived and looked out at Table Mountain in the West, across False Bay and east to the Stellenbosch mountains, they knew they had found it. Emil and Sonette began a journey to create South Africa’s first 5 varietal Bordeaux blend with a philosophy of gentle winemaking and detailed vineyard practices. Emil can be attributed to creating a true designer wine estate in South Africa. "I believe the detailed attention we give to our vineyards and to the winemaking process is reflected in our wine. It is not just another wine…it is a wine made with passion and a labour of love".
Albie Koch, Cellar Master
Stellenbosch native Albie Koch is committed to creating wines that are elegant, nuanced, silky soft and true to the terroir at De Toren. De Toren flows from Albie’s winemaking and vineyard practices, his passion for the land and his connection to Stellenbosch. "We do not adopt a blanket approach to anything we do. We use modern technology available and access the knowledge pool of the University of Stellenbosch to assist us. We choose the correct rootstocks for the correct soil and give it the correct irrigation and gentle treatment in order for the plant to reach the optimal and nearperfect berry…delivering the desired style of our wines."
Come and experience our vertical tasting of De Toren wines gathered over 8 years. This is an event that cannot be repeated and our seating is limited so book your seat promptly. As usual, a tasting plate will be served.
Deep red wine with well rounded tannins, full structure, intense aromatic flavours of fruit cake, red berries, licorice and chocolate integrate well. Intense colour. Berry, cassis and evident oak marry beautifully in the nose. Palate mediumbodied with great elegance: ripe, dense tannins and persistence in the length.
An enigma of flavours is revealed as the wine opens up. With time delicate and voluptuous raspberry, black currant, liquorice and sweet oak flavours come to the front. The palette shows off a long lingering subtle caramel after taste. This elegant lady sets the ambience in her satin smooth dress, and there is enough charisma in this wine to be enjoyed way into the future.
A very complex flavour profile of cloves, black fruit, cinnamon and liquorish on the approach gives way to a rich creaminess with a long lingering after taste. The five varietals have integrated beautifully with the oak and are in perfect balance with the integrated acidity giving the platform for freshness that will ensure the great ageing in the years to come.
Intensive purple/black in colour with satin rim. Sweet ripe fruits with the freshness of rose petals that open up to an earthiness, sweet sugars, cinnamon and liquorish that talks to different parts of the palate at the same time. Black fruits, cherries, peach and caramel are well integrated to create a classic but muscular style that lingers long after consumed and entices you to take another sip almost immediately.
Mineral tones greet you at first, followed by sweet ripe blackcurrant, cinnamon, caramel and liquorish. The favours that remain on the palate after it is swallowed are long lasting. The fusion of acidity, ripe tannin structure and complexity derived from the five varieties, combines to bring out the best in this stunning vintage. The cabernet sauvignon dominance in this Bordeaux style blend will see the wine age way into the future.
A plethora of flavours is introduced upon the approach to this classic Bordeaux styled wine. The almost edible depth created by the dark, intensive color compels you towards further investigation. The nose is characterized by strong ripe, black fruits along with tones of nougat, cherries, liquorice and cedar showcasing a compelling display of dark, ripe elegance. A subtle minerality reminiscence of the cabernet sauvignon’s dominance, reminds of hot, river stones. This perfectly balanced melody of fruit, oak and lush ripe tannins ensures another remarkable vintage, which raises the curtain for great longevity. Definitely the phantom of this opera!
Approach on the nose of this cabernet sauvignon based blend shows elegance with hints of sweet candy floss and cacao. The intense colour is followed by an aura of liquorice, black chocolate and blackberries. Mull this wine on your palate and it reveals well balanced tannins combined with carefully extracted oak is which gives the wine the structures and depth to become even greater with careful cellaring. River rock minerality combines with sweetness and ensures a lasting impression after a sip of this milk made for angels.
Fine spices and dark chocolate infused liquorice surprise on the nose. Tasting this aromatic and delicately concentrated wine reveals blackcurrant, dried plumbs and fresh rose petals. A hint of black pepper with a dash of rocket salad leaves finishes the taste sensation. This wine is well structured and held up by a firm but elegant tannins that has a soft and sweet finish as it tip toes down your throat.
Rose petals, plum and blueberry fruits. Acidity is frisky and well integrated to bring freshness to the front of this elegant Bordeaux right bank style wine. Soft, firm well rounded tannins are integrated with delicate notes of cinnamon and the first impression is very much that of a merlot.
Lush black fruits and a hint of raspberry explode in the mouth as the wine touches the tongue. The elegance of the lasting finish and sweet, ripe seamless flavours greet you as the wine is savoured. The fresh acidity is well balanced with the deep red fruit. Subtle, soft ripe tannins contribute to the full, complex palate which shows the sophistication of a great merlot dominated Bordeaux styled blend. What a vintage!!
This wine is surrounded by a prominent aura of gooseberries and raspberries. Hints of mocha and peanut skins greet the nose, with an elusive sweet undertone. Promises of pomegranate and cardamom filters through on the palate, and integrates well with the fresh acidity of this vibrant blend. Even though this is a shy vintage, the soft, well managed tannins, underline the potential greatness installed if the wine is carefully aged. A smooth, full aftertaste at the back of the palate captivates the mind and cajoles you to pour a second glass.
This wine expresses very delicate undertones of orange zest. A second wave of flavours announces prunes, cinnamon, perfumed rose peddles and sweet red fruit leaves one in anticipation for this liquid to touch the tongue. The palate is treated to a well integrated tannin structure with expressive tones of hazelnut, black currant and rounded off with a mineral finish and fresh acidity that will see this wine have a lot to offer in the future, if carefully stored. The aftertaste leaves a lingering impression that captivates the mind
*We will make every effort to accommodate your food allergies or special dietary needs if requested.
Your cheque payable to South African Wine Society or Visa credit card information will reserve your place. If we have your credit card information on file, you may book by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Visa charges will appear as Pushka Holdings.
To find more information about the event, including registration, follow this link.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Note: As a courtesy to other members, please refrain from wearing any scented products, including perfumes, colognes, after shaves or hand lotions.
To find out more information on our events you can contact us by email at: SAWSinfo@rogers.com