Seven South African Wineries

Last month, I tasted a selection of South African wines from 7 different estates, here were my favorite wines from each.

This estate is known for their high altitude position in Stellenbosch, and producing wines with elevated acidity. My favorite tasted was the Sauvignon Blanc, with 4-5 months on lees. 
MAN Vintners 
MAN estate was named after the 3 owner's wives' first initials, Marie, Annete and Nicky. They started making wine together in 2001 and now have grown to produce over 250k cases per year! My favorite tasted was the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wines is very peppery with leather and incense on the nose. the 2016 Pinotage was also very drinkable and I'm quite picky about this grape.
Joostenberg is a 5th generation, organic winery in the Muldersvlei district of Stellenbosch. Little J is their entry level label and the 2017 Chenin Blanc had a ton of character. My favorite tasted here was the 2016 Family Blend (red) which has a bit of Touriga Nacional and some Malbec in the blend, which is quite uncommon for South Africa. It was well-balanced with soft tannin and ripe plums across the nose and palate. 
Black Elephant Vintners
From the very warm climate of Franschhoek (summers average around 105 degrees), you can already expect some full-bodied wines. Yes, that was the case, but the alcohol was clearly in line. My favorite tasted was the "Nicholas Red" named after the winemaker's son. This big and peppery blend is about 45% Syrah, 21% Carignan, 20% Mourverdre, among others, much like a Southern Rhone style. 
DBG is the 2nd oldest winery in all of South Africa, producing since 1685! My favorite wine tasted was the Boschendal Brut Rosé, made in the traditional method. The blend is Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, as well as about 30% Pinotage. This is the second photo below and my notes included ripe cranberries, blackberries, chalk, bread crumbs and red apple. Delicious!
Ken Forrester
Perhaps the only winery I had previous familiarity with, Ken Forrester has several labels under his umbrella. The Petit is the young vine selection, and I found the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to be light in body but very varietally correct. My favorite, however was the Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc, from is 42 year old vines. This had baked apples, kiwi, ginger and wet soil flavors and kept getting more complex.
Mulderbosch winery is focused on land conservation and rehabilitation. They have a very sensible approach to viticulture, considering the vine's environment with each farming action. I was quite impressed with their 2017 Cabernet Rosé, with fresh strawberries and raspberries on the nose. Also, the "Steen op Hout" Chenin Blanc had a range of savory characteristics, as well as tree bark, white mushroom, and fresh parsley. This Chenin was the most Old World in style.