Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The 2016 Shiraz Showcase and Winners' List

Before we went to this Showcase, Lynne asked herself what she was expecting to find. And the answer was that she didn't know. And now that we have tasted through as many of the 114 (some people brought wines not mentioned in the catalogue) wines as was humanly possible in three hours, she still does not have a clear idea of what the South African wine industry is trying to express with Shiraz. Yes, there are some wonderful examples of this lovely grape variety, spicy, fruity, juicy, complex, woody, herbal, with chocolate, liquorice and even coffee but are there any styles people are trying to make and reproduce each year? It seems not yet. Everyone is doing their own thing. There certainly was one style that emerged, that of quiet elegantly restrained Shirazes, that need time and show huge potential. Several of those were in the top 12 line up this year, like the Saronsberg, Fairview, Rickety Bridge and the Eagles Nest. The DeMorgenzon Reserve is in a class of its own. A huge nose, spicy, sappig, concentrated, long and quite warm. A food wine to drink now with wintery food and/or keep for years if it so takes you
This competition has so many entries that we think the tasting should be over two days. The big question is: Is Shiraz the red wine of South Africa's future? Can it be? It is certainly easy to drink. Most of the time. But we are not the Rhône
 Winemakers Debbie Thompson of Simonsig and Dewald Heyns of Saronsberg
 Saronsberg's 2014 Shiraz and Full Circle Shiraz blend
 Waterford's Kevin Arnold with Rickety Bridge winemaker Wynand Grobler
 Neil Pendock with Fred Fismer and Guy Webber of Stellenzicht
 Painted Wolf Jeremy Borg in conversation
 Nico and Petra van der Merwe with the Decanter Gold Medal Award for their Nicolas Syrah 2013 which achieved 95 points
 Lanri Maritz and KWV's Izelle van Blerk being entertained by the strolling musicians
We were given meal vouchers by the organisers and we both chose the Lamb shanks. Usually the food from the Convention Centre kitchens is dire and the service awful. Both have improved, but the lamb was rather tough, too attached to the bone and not wildly flavoursome. It needed more shiraz in the sauce!
Taj Sommelier Pearl Oliver with Vuvu Sands

Alto Shiraz 2013
Babylonstoren Shiraz 2014
Cederberg Shiraz 2014
De Morgenzon Reserve Syrah 2014
Eagles' Nest Shiraz 2013
Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2013
KWV The Mentors Shiraz 2013
Laborie Limited Collection Shiraz 2014
Rickety Bridge Shiraz 2013
Saronsberg Shiraz 2014
Strandveld Syrah 2012
Windmeul Shiraz Reserve 2013

Middelvlei Momberg 2013
Eikendal Charisma 2013
Alvi's Drift Albertus Viljoen Limited Release Red Blend 2012

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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