Home > Wine > Garden Route Shiraz 2011: Easy drinking, somewhat enigmatic…

Garden Route Shiraz 2011: Easy drinking, somewhat enigmatic…

2011 Garden Route Shiraz, made from grapes grown in the Outeniqua wine ward

“Location: Calitzdorp • Map: Klein Karoo & Garden Route • WO: Durbanville/Outeniqua • Est/1stB 2008” reads the entry in Platter’s 2012 for Garden Route wines.

The bottle in my hand reads “Garden Route Shiraz 2011, Wine of origin Outeniqua” on the front label. The Platter entry lists the 2007 Shiraz, made from Durbanville grapes, noting that the 2011 Shiraz is made from grapes grown in the Outeniqua wine ward, one of the newer wine wards to emerge in the Southern Cape in the last few years. It’s all thoroughly confusing really. What happened to the ’08, ’09 and ’10 vintages I wonder. Where did the grapes come from ? Or did they just not get made?

The wines (I received the 2011 Shiraz and 2012 Sauvigon Blanc via courier a couple of weeks ago)  are made at De Krans in Calitzdorp, by the redoubtable Boets Nel, he of De Krans Port fame. Aside from a slew of competition honours, half the De Krans page entry in Platter’s is a solid block of red type, indicating 4 1/2 and 5 star wines, testimony to the winemaking prowess of Boets, and not just in the port and dessert wine stakes. The 2010 Touriga Nacional and the 2006 Redstone Reserve, a blend of Touriga and Cab Sauv, both crack 4 Platter stars.

So it’s entirely reasonable to expect that he should be able to put together a credible Shiraz, which if you taste the 2011, you may well agree he has done. Okay, I don’t believe it’s a 5 star wine, but it is entirely drinkable, inky garnet in colour, with a dense black fruit nose of plums and blackberries on vanilla and earthy spice notes.

The palate speaks of surprisingly dense black fruit, with cracked black pepper notes, underpinned by gentle oak and a vanilla edge. The fruit is mouthfilling, juicy and is balanced by pleasing acidity, the tannins very soft and gentle for a 2011 wine. Ten months in 2nd and 3rd fill French barrels make for well integrated oak. I don’t believe it’ll last for ever, but I doubt it’s meant to. It’s a typical cool climate wine, with bright juicy fruit, made to drink young.

I drank it with a very mild chicken curry, not the ideal pairing I admit, but it was passable good nonetheless. It’ll do well with a traditional roast, beef or lamb, and it’ll also do great with a slab of steak, or with a typical South African braai.

Drinking well now, it retails at R92 a bottle. The 2007 gets 3 1/2 Platter stars, and the 2011 cracked best Shiraz at the Klein Karoo Young Wine Show that year.

  1. Allwright, Felicity, Mrs fja@sun.ac.za
    October 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Dear Norman

    I was very upset when I went outside to look for my Bolander at lunchtime when it normally arrives. I saw bits of paper at my neighbour accross the street, but it was not the whole paper. I went back inside and looked out from my upstairs stoep and saw something in my gutter next to my driveway. This was my Bolander which is normally put in my postbox outside, but also with a page missing (fortunately another page). Comparing the two papers, I discovered that there was no recipe in this week’s edition. I must say, I always feel cheated when there is no recipe, though there was an article on organic food which was interesting, but seeing one of my son’s is in the poultry business and I have walked round poultry and pig farms with him in the past, it was not really news to me. I am not very interested in wine, though I drink the occasional glass, but if I could never drink another one, it would not worry me at all. Please don’t skip your recipe in a future edition, you will make me sad.

    Best wishes

    Felicity Allwright

    Felicity Allwright Tel: +27 (021) 886-5105 Cell: +27 (082) 218-0818 ________________________________________

    • October 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Felicity,
      Unfortunately I do have to use my column from time to time, to write about food in the non-recipe sense. The organic vs conventional debate is a hot topic right now, and many of our readers seek information about it.

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