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House of Mandela Wines

While the world lost Nelson Mandela last year his legacy lives on in many ways. House of Mandela Wines is one of these programs keeping the Mandela name strong. Started by his daughter Dr. Makaziwe Mandela and granddaughter Tukwini Mandela to keep alive the values of the late leader of South Africa. All grapes used are from fair trade farms, meaning the producers get paid a fair price for their grapes. All grapes must also been grown in vineyards that take into account. Also parts of the money made by these wines go to charities. House of Mandela Family Foundation and Africa Rising Foundation, two groups trying to eliminate poverty in Africa. Dr. Mandela and her daughter started and run the charity that bares their family name.
House of Mandela produces two labels of their wines, Thembu, named for the Thembu people. Six varieties are produced in this more value oriented wine, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinotage for the reds. Thembu Collection whites include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. The labels feature vibrant colors that reflect the Dashiki shirts Nelson Mandela favored.
House of Mandela Royal Reserve is a more luxurious wine collection that features Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The Royal Reserve label features a bee whose wings are branches. The bee that pollinates flowers spreading life and is courageous in protecting its hive is from the Mandela family crest. The wings made of branches represent the many branches of the Mandela family tree.
Erlank Erasmus, the House of Mandela wine maker, is a native of South Africa who has worked in wineries around the world including California’s Rosenblum Cellars and St. Emilion in Bordeaux before returning to South Africa.
House of Mandela, Thembu Collection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 has a deep purple color. The aromas are filled with dark red fruit with minerals including graphite. The palate is fruit forward, especially red berries with smooth tannins. This is very New World in style and easy to drink. Enjoy with a nice grilled rib eye with an earthy wild mushroom sauce.
House of Mandela, Thembu Collection, Pinotage, 2012 was dark red in the glass. Blackberries and raspberries dominate the nose with Pinotage’s trademark aromas of bacon fat and smokiness are in the background. Dark red berries hit the tongue first, some smoke and toasted oak are also present. Smooth tannins and nice acidity lead to a medium finish. Pinotage with its smokiness is sometimes rough on the palate for people to accept. The Thembu Pinotage is very smooth, hint of smoke but never to powerful, I really enjoyed this wine. Pork chops with dried fruit compote would highlight the berries in this wine.
House of Mandela, Royal Reserve, Chardonnay, 2009 has a light golden color. Lemon and tropical fruits such as pineapple and banana, with hints of toasted oak are on the nose. The lemon is tart on the palate lending nice crisp acidity with tropical fruits and oak in the background. It is nice to have a well-made chardonnay with a creamy texture and fruit dominating with some pleasant toastiness in the background. Enjoy with roasted chicken with pan gravy infused with roasted garlic.
Enjoy House of Mandela wines and now you are helping out less fortunate people at the same time. Great wines for a great cause.

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