Red, Drink now

2013 St Clements Shiraz, Paarl

2013 St Clements Shiraz, Paarl

Red | Drink now | Vondeling Wines | Code:  27567 | 2013 | South Africa > Paarl | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Vondeling Wines

Vondeling Wines

At the foot of the Paardeberg, this 40 hectare working wine farm, owned by Julian Johnsen, Anthony Ward, and Richard Gower, has a tranquil atmosphere with panoramic mountain and vineyard views with Table Bay and Mountain visible in the distance.

The area around Vondeling Wines is rich in indigenous fynbos and four species are unique to the Paardeberg mountain – Babiana noctiflora, Erica hippuris, Oscularia paardebergenis and Serruria roxberghii.

Their Baldrick Shiraz was initially only sourced from the younger vines, but as the vines are no longer so young, selections are now made from the blocks and clones which provide more aromatics and a more accessible palate. The vineyards are planted on well weathered granite derived soils on south and southeast facing slopes. In total six clones of Shiraz were planted, all making different contributions to the final wine which is notably for the purity and accessibility of its fruit, not always a characteristics of the Cape’s reds. And why is the wine named after Blackadder’s hapless (yet recently ennobled) sidekick? A cunning plan, no doubt.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Paarl

At 18,000 hectares, the Paarl wine district incorporates the wards of Paarl and Wellington and Franschhoek (where in 1688 fleeing Huguenots from France set up home, bringing winemaking skills and vines).

Being further inland, warmer and lower-lying than its neighbour Stellenbosch, the greater Paarl district is more inclined to produce gutsy wines from granite and clay soils, typically from the Shiraz and Chenin Blanc varieties.

Joostenberg Wines in Paarl and Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek are two impressive producers.

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