DGB is one of South Africa’s big producer-wholesalers and I suppose Bellingham Bernard Series is to this company what top-end Nederburg is to Distell or Mentors is to KWV. Somehow I don’t come across the Bernard Series that often so I was intrigued to try the Basket Press Syrah 2013 and the Small Barrel SMV 2013 after both placed among the winners of their respective categories at this year’s Shiraz SA Wine Challenge.
Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2013
83% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre, 3% Viognier. Red and black fruit, some floral fragrance and a hint of white pepper. Relatively medium bodied and nicely fresh but the tannins rather too soft. A very polished effort but a bit anodyne for me.
Bellingham The Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah 2013
98% Syrah, 2% Viognier. Very primary – needs time in the glass to open up. Black berries, purple flowers, pepper and vanilla all in evidence. Succulent fruit, fresh acidity and nice ripe tannins, the wine properly dry but not astringent on the finish. Much more convincing than the SMV.