Wine: Sebeka Shiraz 2006
Grape: Shiraz (100 percent)
Region: Western Cape Region, South Africa
Price: $6.99 per bottle
In the glass: A deep purplish red color with an opaque core going out into a violet-tinged rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: At first, quite meaty black fruit, dominated by black cherries, loganberries and cassis, then tons of black licorice characteristics, slight touches of new oak, smoked bacon and minerals; then hints of crushed red berries.
On the palate: There is an intense onslaught of licorice-laden blackberry juice, crushed brambleberries, huckleberry jam, smoked meats, minerals, star anise and some phenolic compound undertones. The mid-palate is very balanced with good structure and there are silky tannins throughout going into a lengthy finish that is tinged with licorice root and smokehouse almonds.
Odds and ends: Winemaker Andries Blake is definitely onto something here — a tasty, easy-drinking and easy-on-the-wallet wine. This young and muscular wine demands to be opened at least one hour before drinking. It might be perfect for grilled lamb chops, rubbed with sea salt, coriander seeds and pink peppercorn. Drink it now through 2010.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, Nv 89016-0749 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.