December 10, 2009

Making New Friends--South African Syrah

I was fortunate to be invited to paritcipate in another Tastelive event on Tuesday night. This event featured wines represented by Hospice Du Rhone. HdR is an organization the promotes and represent wine made in the spirit of Rhone varities like Syrah, Mouvedre, and Rousanne. There were six Syrahs in the tasting; three were from Australia and three from South Africa.

The stars of the tasting were the three syrahs from South Africa. For my palate, each of the South African Syrahs presented an intersting mix of old and new world sensibilites. It was an eye-opening experience for me. While I love Rhone wines and have consumed my share of Cali Syrah, I had not previously drank South African Syrah. I liked each a great deal and will post separately on each wine.

The first South African Syrah was the 2006 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Franschhoek. This wine was full of peppery spice, minerality, and dark fruit. Very young, it seemed ready for another 5 years in the cellar. I was impressed by the elegance of the wine. It was not an overripe, throttled up Syrah; rather, it was complex, earthy, and ready to accompany a good meal. Retails for around $40. More notes to come on the other wines.


  1. I used to get this real earthy, almost clay like note in a few of the South African Syrah / Shiraz that made them very distinctive.

    Boekenhoutskloof also makes a great value wine called Wolf Trap, a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Viognier. Loads of meatiness and distinctively earthy, well suited for something wild and served hot off the grill.

    Looking forward to reading more about your eye opening experience.

  2. Thanks Kev! I have heard good things about the Wolf Trap. Will need to check that out. Thanks for visiting.