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Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre 2010

Not totally frivolous.

A tasting of five rosés, the line-up compiled at random.

I reviewed the wines with James Pietersen, regular taster for Platter’s and beverage manager for Belthatzar and Balducci’s restaurants at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. We tasted blind with scoring done according to the 20-point system and here’s how the wines ranked (individual taster’s score below each wine):

1. Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre 2010
Pale pink. Shy nose. The palate shows subtle red fruit, spice and some earthiness. Dry, almost savoury finish. Elegant and sophisticated. CE 15.5 JP 15.5

2. Felicité Dry Rosé 2010
65% Syrah, 35% Sauvignon Blanc. Dark pink. Forthcoming nose showing red fruit and an attractive herbaceous note. Good fruit expression and fresh acidity. Very pretty but arguably too much white wine character.
CE15 JP 14.5

3. Two Oceans Shiraz Rosé 2010
Hot pink. Overt red cherry aroma. Sweet and juicy on entry, tart acidity. Has a not completely unattractive Kool-aid quality about it.
CE 14 JP 15

4. Snow Mountain Merlot Rosé 2009
Pastel pink, orange tint. Ripe red fruit on the nose and palate. Juicy and full with gentle acidity. Somewhat akward, tired.
CE 14 JP 14.5

5. Morgenster Italian Collection Caruso 2010
100% Sangiovese. Light red. Reductive on the nose, while the palate lacks fruit and appears rather tannic. More light red wine than rosé.
CE 14 JP 14

A general observation: What really stood out about the Cape Coral Mourvèdre under the circumstance label from Waterkloof was that it had obviously been made with serious intent and showed great harmony. It’s the way forward for the category.


  1. Hi Lise, James and I strongly believe that the way professional wine tastings are conducted in South Africa needs to be overhauled – smaller line-ups and where possible with a focus on regionality. But how to cover costs? Would producers be prepared to pay a nominal admin fee, say R50 per wine?

  2. I have to agree that the way wines are tasted and rated needs to be overhauled. Smaller line-ups focusing on style and regionality are a must as asking tasters to fairly taste and rate long lineups of diverse wines is not fair on the taster or the wines. R50 a bottle seems to me a small price to pay to ensure that the wines are tasted with regional and stylistic context on a palate that has not been overworked but in these difficult times who is ready to spend?


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