A Soft and Savory Shiraz Durbanville Hills
2005 Shiraz South Africa
The tradition of winemaking in the Durbanville Hills dates back to the early 1700's. It is one of the coolest areas in South Africa's Cape winegrowing region, which makes the locale a leader for slow-ripening grape varietals. Durbanville Hills winery takes advantage of these conditions to grow award-winning Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and the South African specialty, Pinotage. The 2005 Shiraz is fairly light in color and body. On the nose, smoky bacon fat dominates with hints of red currant and baking spice. On the mouth, there's tart fruit and lots of salty bacon, with just a touch of white pepper and spice at the back. The smoky note lingers on the palate with impressive length for such a light, easy-drinking wine. For Shiraz, it offers a soft texture and an approachable, crowd-pleasing style. Pair it with equally smoky things like grilled chicken, steak, buffalo burgers or other wild game meats. The wine would also make an interesting partner to aged goats milk cheeses or a lightly sweet bread pudding with dried currants or other dried fruits.