Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sebeka Wines

The newest South African wine, named Sebeka, has arrived in the U.S. from the Western Cape of South Africa, imported and marketed by California-based E. & J. Gallo. The brand has a standard fleet of wines [Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Shiraz] as well as a couple of localized blends [Cape Blend: Shiraz-Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon-Pinotage] to choose from. Pinotage is a uniquely South African grape, created there more than 80 years ago by crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsault.

I first encounter the Sebeka brand during the Boston Wine Expo back in February. Their wines taste good and I especially liked the blended reds and what I think will make this wine popular is the slick look to the product. The personality of the wine is embodied in the label, which features a cheetah running in full stride against the backdrop of the South African brush lands. Add a clever marketing slogan and you have a good US seller. I initially thought their wines were going to do fine here in the states and now with Gallo pushing them along, I know they will be doing a little better than just fine entering the brave new world. Look out Yellow Tail.

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