Yesterday the launch of two top-end wines from Stellenbosch winery Blaauwklippen, a Shiraz Reserve and a Zinfandel Reserve, both from the 2009 vintage and both with a cellar door price of R300 a bottle.
From high-density vines planted in 2005 and 2006, the Shiraz Reserve spent 18 months in new oak, a combination French and Romanian (the latter for extra spiciness). It’s rich, full and very smooth textured – what I suspect many people think expensive wine should taste like but I find it a little anodyne.
The Zinfandel Reserve, meanwhile, is a more interesting proposition. From a vineyard planted in 1982, it also spent 18 months in new oak, although all French. The wine is also big and powerful but more aptly so than the Shiraz. The nose is very expressive with aromas of raisin (in the best sense), chocolate as well as dried herbs and spices while the palate is broad with soft but comforting tannins. It’s a bit of an oddity but the world of wine is the more interesting for oddities like this.