WINE: MAN VINTNERS SHIRAZ
REGION: WO COASTAL REGION, SOUTH AFRICA
PRICE: $9.99 PER BOTTLE
In the glass: Man Vintners Shiraz is a deep blackish-red color with an inky core going out into a dense garnet-red rim definition with high viscosity.
On the nose: The wine is redolent with pungent aromas of crushed black plums, cherries and berries, then phenolic notes of ground star anise shell, spice box and mocha coffee, with just a hint of violets and earthy tones of minerality.
On the palate: The wine is powerfully coating and brooding with loads of black plum crush, blackberry liqueur, cherries jubilee, spicy and peppery touches of licorice and touches of oak. The midpalate expands a bit and is quite soft and supple, considering the rich attack at first, but finishes with a lovely balanced mouth feel and hints of violet pastilles and black licorice.
Odds and ends: It's been awhile since I wrote up a South African wine, but this fully mature shiraz from Man Vintners made the grade in a recent tasting of antipodean reds. Shiraz is the name of the syrah grape variety in the Southern Hemisphere, made famous in this country by Australian wines such as Yellow Tail. South Africa is a much older winegrowing area than Australia by about 200 years. The climate in this region is not dissimilar to the climate in the northern Rhone Valley of France. Since the modernization of South Africa during the past 30 years, many of the greatest winemakers in the world have descended on the country. Man Vintners Shiraz is a cool little wine from a great vintage in South Africa, and if a good, full-bodied shiraz is your thing, then this wine is for you. Try it with a hamburger fully loaded. Drink it now through 2013.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.