When you are invited to join a Shiraz tasting group on a Monday afternoon you just don’t say no. Knowing that 18 examples of Shiraz are waiting for evaluation is about the best Monday brief that I could receive. With anticipation goes a little preparation. I ran my memory through my internal Shiraz files while seated in the Hermanuspietersfontein cellar. I knew I was in for a full bodied, dark crimson richness with some peppery punch. Marketing Assistant Anika de Goede handed out the tasting notes and we were set at ease with some general pointers from winemaker Wilhelm Pienaar. The wines were served in 3 flights of 6 wines with a 2012 vintage the oldest and 2016 the youngest. The most expensive bottle just topped R300.
Starting out the first flight included the following Shirazes in pouring order: Arabella, Porcupine Ridge, Protea, Lammershoek, South Hill and Rainbow’s End. Last was not least but rather the best in this case. Rainbow’s End Shiraz 2015 delivered a balanced wine with a velvety look, tobacco notes and black fruit on the palate. All the way from the Banghoek Valley in Stellenbosch this wine is no stranger to the limelight and has been acknowledged for its terroir representation at the SA Novare Terroir Awards. Reading afterwards that Rainbow’s End is representative of a Rhone blend fits well with my Rhone preference.
In the second flight I lifted the Hermanuspietersfontein Skoonma as a firm favourite and gave it my highest score of all 18 wines appreciated in this blind tasting. Skoonma showed lively, engaging characteristics that were quite endearing. Not everyone’s lucky to experience such a Skoonma!
The last flight presented a diverse range of Shiraz styles and again an Overberg wine won over my taste buds. Kobie Viljoen’s Villion 2012 was my winning wine from this flight. 10% Mourvèdre in this wine is the Rhone component of my affinity that clinched the deal.
Not a bad way to spend a Monday afternoon, or any other afternoon!