New South Africa
OK, so names such as Vergelegen and Beyerskloof can hardly be called new, but it was difficult to pass them by without catching up on the latest from these two leading producers. Beyers Truter was also involved in an empowerment project, whereby the farm workers bought a majority share of Bouwland winery and vineyards; Beyers remains a partner and winemaking consultant. Delaire was a pleasant surprise, their wines showing real elegance and charm. In addition, Stellar Organics is an impressive operation, now farming or purchasing over 1000 tonnes of organic grapes. The Cabs and Shirazs are especially promising. Tasting notes to follow from the London Wine Fair May 2004.
South African Syrah - Shiraz
Call back shortly to discover a dozen highly recommended Shiraz/Syrahs from the Cape, tasted in May at the 2004 London Wine Fair. These rich spicy reds are all from the 2001 and 2002 vintages. The latter, in particular, is looking big and sexy; but South African winemakers need to watch those alcohol levels, the downside of waiting longer to get full ripeness in Shiraz grapes.