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David Finlayson has a knack for producing pure, delicious tasting red wines. In fact his Cabernet Sauvignons rank among South Africa’s finest and are so highly allocated that they are nearly impossible to procure. Almost as difficult to secure is Edgebaston’s 2010 Berry Box, a hedonistic blend of Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc that celebrates the terroir of Stellenbosch at the same time it commemorates Edgebaston’s history as a once renowned berry nursery. The 2010 Berry Box brims with the savory scents of blackberry, currant, mulberry, and raspberry. Equally rewarding are Berry Box’s smooth, rich flavors, which caress the palate and ingratiate themselves to the thirsty throat. An enticing blend of fruits and forest woodlands, the 2010 Berry Box greatly resembles some of the most successful red Bordeaux wines we have tasted from the already legendary 2009 vintage. Ripe, juicy, and full of flavors that are deftly bolstered by fine tannins, the 2010 Berry Box may just constitute one of the planet’s best red wine values. Taste and see!
The Finlayson family recommends sharing the 2010 Edgebaston Berry Box with hearty foods and favorite friends. Who can argue with that? We can’t, but we suspect some greedy folks might take issue with that recommendation after tasting the hedonistic 2010 Berry Box. This wine is so beguiling and ready to drink that all it needs to work its magic is a clean glass. Nonetheless, game, meat, and hearty vegetable dishes will only enhance the allure of the Berry Box. Braised Beef, Venison Carpaccio, Indian Lamb Curry, and Chicken Chili with Black Beans provide especially tasty accompaniments to this wine. Short Ribs with Olives and Herbs and Roast Duck with Rosemary, served with a red currant sauce, also offer fine companionship to the Finlayson family’s delicious Berry Box. And of course, there is cheese to consider.
Edgebaston is synonymous with modern winemaking on South Africa’s Western Cape. Originally from Scotland, the Finlayson family has for three generations made outstanding wines in Stellenbosch and has in recent years been instrumental in transforming the Cape wine industry from a dwindling domestic business to a thriving international venture receiving worldwide acclaim.
The father and son team of David and Walter Finlayson present impressive credentials. Walter made wine at South Africa’s Blaauwklippen winery for more than 15 years where he twice coveted “Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year” awards in addition to a host of other prestigious awards. While still at Blaauwklippen, Walter purchased the now renowned Glen Carlou farm in Paarl, which he and son David transformed into one of South Africa’s leading wineries. Subsequently, Walter has become best known for producing South Africa’s wine of the year in 2005.
In addition to his award winning work at Glen Carlou, David Finlayson has honed his winemaking skills at a number of prestigious addresses. David performed winemaking stints at Peter Lehmann, one of Australia’s iconic wineries, and world renowned Château Margaux before starting Edgebaston. In 2003 Walter and David sold their shares in Glen Carlou (although Walter still serves as Glen Carlou’s Managing Director) and purchased what is now Edgebaston, a beautiful estate on the hills overlooking Stellenbosch, South Africa’s premier appellation and wine town. From the beginning, critics have lauded Edgebaston for its quality, value and innovation, and we count the Finlaysons’ budding Edgebaston winery among our best finds in recent years.
Located on the Western Cape less than an hour north of Cape Town, the picture post card town of Stellenbosch and the surrounding mountains form a dramatic backdrop for what has been heralded as the most beautiful wine country in the world. Although one may debate that claim and the various picturesque merits of other world renowned wine regions, what is not in question is the integral role Stellenbosch has played for more than three centuries in the formation of South African wine. Stellenbosch is unquestionably South Africa’s oldest and most important wine producing region. It is South Africa’s Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara counties all in one. It contains a myriad of microclimates and is responsible for high quality red and white wines from a host of varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, and South Africa’s unique varietal Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. From wineries in Stellenbosch, both old and new, flow an enormous variety of wines that are wholly unique in character and deserving of worldwide attention.
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