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Chateau Libertas Rouge 1994

R195 (

Out of stock

)

1994

Out of stock

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Generally considered an everyday drinking wine, however, it comes to life with age. Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with Shiraz, Merlot, Ruby Cabernet and Petit Verdot.

The origins of Chateau Libertas are as straightforward as the wine itself. Dr William Charles Winshaw wanted a wine to enjoy with food. It was considered good for the digestion and part of a healthy lifestyle. The problem was there wasn’t much choice on the local market in the years between the two World Wars and most of what was available was sweet and fortified. That prompted him to create for South Africans a tasty lightly wooded dry red blend. Whether it aided his own digestion or impacted on his health is hard to say but he worked till the age of 92 and died when he was 96. Born in 1871 Winshaw was a runaway from Kentucky USA who left home at 12. He liked to tell the story that he made his way down the Tennessee River in a canoe with an old hobo. He had many encounters including meeting Buffalo Bill (aka Colonel William Cody) and at 22 became a Texas Ranger. That was before he went on to study medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. When he graduated he settled in New Mexico and met a man buying mules on behalf of the British fighting in the Anglo Boer War. He reckoned the time was right to see some more of the world so he took the job of accompanying the 4 000 animals on their journey to Cape Town. Once he landed he was ready for action. He delivered the mules and joined the British fighting forces in 1900. He loved South Africa and made the country his home. After practising medicine for some years he turned his hand to winemaking experimenting in his kitchen. Before long he was supplying a growing group of regular customers prompting him to start the Stellenbosch Grape Juice Works in 1909. He did very well until an oversupply in a depressed market after World War I saw his business collapse in 1921. Undaunted after a break he started a new business buying the Stellenbosch farm Oude Libertas and establishing Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery (SFW) in 1925. This venture proved far more enduring and was the birthplace of many South African wines that are still household names to countless South Africans today. Chateau Libertas was one of his favourites.(SFW merged with Distillers Corporation in 2000 to create Distell.) Winshaw believed that if he could produce something well-priced well-made and accessibly styled even people who weren’t accustomed to wine would see the appeal of his offer. He soon had 80 000 followers who were buying his blend at a shilling a bottle. An advertisement in The Wine Book of South Africa (1936) urged readers “When travelling by rail or motor (to) insist on being served” his special blend with their meals. He advised them to “please complain to the Management” if it wasn’t available and assured them that this was a wine “not to intoxicate but give just the right stimulation to the digestion needed by travellers”. Chateau Libertas was such an ambassador for South Africa that when the British Royal Family visited in 1947 it was served at the official state banquet. It also made an appearance when Viscount Montgomery of Alamein came in 1954 and once again in 1960 to honour British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan of “Winds of Change” fame.

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