If you’re lucky enough to live in the Western Cape and you love Shiraz, then you need to get yourself to Hartenberg this weekend for their Shiraz and Charcuterie extravaganza. Tickets cost R180 for tastings of SA’s finest shirazes along with some delicious meats, cheeses and breads. Buy them from WebTickets.
Alternatively, you could try and lay your hands on some of these which have come my way recently – delicious examples at all different price levels! Enjoy.
Hill & Dale Shiraz 2011
(R52 from leading retailers)
This is an easily available, very affordable range of wines, now increased by two – a Pinot Grigio and this Shiraz. I’m actually quite surprised they haven’t had a Shiraz before since these wines are made by Guy Webber from Stellenzicht, who is something of a Shiraz maestro, but there you go. This was a very cheery wine with all the correct flavours, plenty of sweet black fruit and spice and all at a very good price.
Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2011
(R55 from leading retailers)
This is an interesting operation. The Dreyer family have been supplying grapes in bulk to lots of better-known names in Swartland and elsewhere in SA, but this is the first time they’ve actually launched their own label wines here. The price indicates the advantages of economies of scale, but thankfully the quality of wine over-delivers on the price with lots of bright, chewy red fruit and a slight, smooth spicy edge. Well worth a try.
Hartenberg Doorkeeper Shiraz 2010 (R70 from the farm)
Carl Schultz is gradually making Shiraz his own personal grape variety and with the release of this, his fourth and most accessible one to date, who’s going to argue? Certainly not me. This has all the hallmarks of a Hartenberg classic – elegant black fruit, subtle oak, hints of coffee, vanilla and spice. An excellent price and a really good, everyday drinking Shiraz.
Cura Shiraz 2010 (R79 from Vondeling Wines)
The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) is teaming up with various wineries to raise funds for its conservation and education work. This Shiraz (the name ‘Cura’ means ‘care’ in Latin) was made for them by Vondeling wines, who are BWI accredited winery working towards Champion status. The wine was smoky and meaty with lots of berries and red fruit. Always pleasant to drink feel-good wines!
Rhebokskloof Black Marble Hill Reserve Syrah 2010 (R190 from the farm)
Paarl is a bit of a hotbed of good Shiraz with plenty of surprise winners at both local and international competitions. This is the latest in Rheebokskloof’s award-winning flagship wines and is a little riper, juicier and softer than previous years. Hints of plums and dark fruit with lots of overlying black and white pepper notes.
Mullineux Family Syrah 2010 (R225 from the farm)
The 2009 version of this wine won Five Stars in Platter last year – completely deservedly so in the opinion of most who tasted it. This one looks set to follow in its triumphant footsteps, coming as it does from the same farms, with similar low yields, natural ferments and oak treatment. It has a very French feel with plenty of perfume and violets, an expansive, silky texture and an endless finish. Very classy indeed.
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