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Balance Best Blend Pinotage Shiraz 2013

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Jolly juice.
Jolly juice.

Worcester based Overhex Wines International (OWI) crushes between 8 500 and 9 000 tons of grapes a year, and according to managing director Gerhard van der Wath, is one of South Africa’s top 20 exporters of wine supplying 28 countries around the world.

OWI is gearing up to have more of a presence locally and yesterday a tasting of wines in the Balance portfolio (the logo consisting of an elephant named Hank perched atop the letter “l”). There are two tiers, the first being Best Blend, all wines having a cellar-door price of R32 a bottle and Winemaker’s Selection, wines here selling for R47 a bottle.

Overall, the wines were competently made but no more than casual quaffing. “Useful for me as I often need to be able to recommend wines at R30 and under for functions like UCT graduation celebrations,” said Mike Bampfield-Duggan of Newlands boutique retailer Wine Concepts.

The Best Blend Pinotage Shiraz 2013 wasn’t entirely ordinary. A 50:50 blend of the two varieties, the Pinotage from Swartland, the Shiraz from Breedekloof, 20% underwent maturation on French and American staves for four months.  Very primary with upfront red and black fruit and the vaguest brush of vanilla. Attractively sweet and juicy, and if you served it chilled, you wouldn’t be a million miles away from Beaujolais.

Sccore: 81/100.

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