Thursday, June 11, 2009

South Africa: Shiraz and Syrah June 11 2009

I had a great morning wine tasting and early luncheon featuring a focus on South African Shiraz and Syrah lead by award winning winemaker Marc Kent today at the Diva at the Met. The tasting of two South African whites and nine reds was an eye opener to the quality coming out of SA .

Winemaker Marc Kent commented on the meteoric rise of red varietals especially Shiraz/Syrah in the last two decades. From 1990 to 1998 red production has risen from 18% to 48% and Shiraz from 1% of total production to just over 18%. Marc mentioned the long history of South Africa as the nine largest wine producer globally and the oldest of the new world wine regions. In his opinion Shiraz is the future varietal for SA.

Here are my tasting notes. Chef and Sommelier Dino Renaerts prepared a tasty wine paired lunch to show off the aromatic and savoury flavour elements of the red wines.

Graham Beck Brut $24.99 CDN
Straw yellow with fine mousse and subtle yeast and green apple aromas. Light-bodied, green apple, subtle minerality notes in the soft middle with a crisp dry finish.

Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2008 $14.99 CDN
Straw green with subtle green bean and melon aromas. Light-bodied and round with notes of melon, apple, and a hint of mineral. Crisp finish. A delicate non aggressive SB style.

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2008 $14.99 CDN
Ruby with good depth of colour and aromas of raisin and cassis. Medium-bodied with a lush smooth texture and flavours of spice, blackberry, black cherry, and hints of raisin. Good value.

Excelsior Paddock Shiraz 2006 $15.99 CDN
Ruby with ripe spice aromas. Medium-bodied, subtle tannins and ripe blackberry, raisin, and spice notes.

Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2007 $17.99 CDN
Ruby purple with cedar aromas. Medium-bodied with some chewy tannins, decent concentration of flavour, and notes reminiscent of spice, pepper, and cherry. Rhone styled.

Glen Carlou Syrah 2005 $29.73 CDN
Ruby purple with exotic spice aromas. Full-bodied and complex with Australian fruit forward styling and flavours of warm sweet spice, vanilla, and ripe cassis.

Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2007 $45.00 CDN
Ruby purple and aromas of plum, spice, and coffee. Full-bodied , chewy, and concentrated with plum, orange pekoe tea, roasted coffee, chocolate and blueberry flavours. Languedoc in style.

Robertson Constitution Road Shiraz 2005 $39.99 CDN
Ruby colour with tea and warm spice aromas. Medium to full-bodied with a lush texture and complex notes of leather, tea, and spice.

Mulderbosch Shiraz 2004 $34.99
Ruby purple with roasted earth, savoury herb, and a pronounced white pepper aroma. Full-bodied, chewy tannins, and flavours of white pepper, spice, meat, and vanilla. Rhone styled

Thelema Mountain Shiraz 204 $34.99 CDN
Ruby purple with a complex nose of sweet spice and savoury meatiness. Full-bodied with ripe blackberry, chocolate orange, spice, cassis, and cedar. Elegant and complex.

Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2005 $69.99
Ruby with cedar aromas. Full-bodied, lush, and concentrated with pepper, spice, cassis, and blueberry flavours. Complex and layered with a Rhone style bent.
South African Lunch - Chef Dino Renaerts
  • Goat cheese croquette with tomato chutney
  • Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc
  • Tomato foam and pea puree
  • Graham Beck Brut
  • Spiced beef slider
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah
  • Brasied beef & mushroom wellington
  • Glen Carlou Syrah
  • Duck confit & lentils
  • Boekenhoutskloof The WolfTrap
  • Seared flank steak cube with port glazed shallot jam
  • Boekenhoutsloof The Chocolate Block
  • Valrhona chocolate pudding
  • Boekenhoutsloof Syrah

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