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De Grendel Shiraz 2010

In the first bloom of youth.

De Grendel Shiraz 2010, winner of a gold medal and the international judges’ trophy at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012, selling for R85.99 from Ultra Liquors? Ship it in. Despite a relatively hefty alcohol by volume of 14.63%, it presents as remarkably pure fruited, more red than black and there also heaps of white pepper, which is always nice to find on a Shiraz.

If I had to find fault with the wine, it is that is still very primary at this stage. It was matured in one-third New American oak, one-third new French oak and one-third older French oak for 13 months and there is a sense of the oak standing a little apart at this stage. It will undoubtedly be better in a year or two’s time. Score: 17/20.


  1. Vintage related question…What cultivar/wine would you suggest keeping till 21st birthday for daughter born in 2010? I want to pick up a case or two, but not sure what will be best, assuming proper storage.Thanks

  2. Albrecht, no need to look further than http://www.whatidranklastnight.co.za/what-i-drank-last-night/hill-dale-pinot-grigio-2012-vs-two-oceans-pinot-grigio-2012/
    That’s a joke, of course, and I know you’re not asking me, but if I had to make that choice, I’d wait for Boplaas and De Krans to release the 2010 vintages of their Vintage Reserve “Ports”. I’d also consider getting some Simonsig Cuvée Royale – you’d have to wait even longer for that 2010 to be released, but what is a birthday without bubbles? 

  3. Hi Albrecht, My position on the age-worthiness of modern SA reds is somewhat controversial in that I don’t believe that there are very many built to last two decades. I imagine, for instance, that the De Grendel Shiraz featured in this post will offer optimal drinking from 2015 through to 2018. That said, it’s not like there are absolutely no reds capable of going the distance and I suggest you consider a top Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. However, if you want to be really confident that you have something in the bottle which doesn’t simply survive but transforms into something altogether more complex and alluring, then I agree with Kiwspedoor that you go with Port.

  4. Hi guys. I appreciate both replies – I was leaning towards a quality Cabernet Sauvignon, but also agree wrt the Port suggestion. Thanks  

  5. Hi Smirrie, Though Boekenhoutskloof is without doubt one of South Africa best examples of Syrah, I would be surprised if it made 20 years. When I l had the outstanding maiden vintage 1997 a year or two ago, it was at its very peak if not already in decline (admittedly from different vineyards to subsequent vintages but nevertheless).

  6. Any chance that Paul Sauer or Kanonkop Cabernet will last that long? Maybe even the option of a larger format bottle in place of the case of 12?

  7. Good call, John – many Kanonkops last well for two decades, especially in bigger bottles. It’ll still be a risk though, because they don’t quite make them like they used to and the 2010 vintage was not as good as, say, 2009.

  8. Thanks Kwispedoor; valid point. I will have to look around for something special that will keep until my sons 21st in 2031. Maybe something from De Trafford or Hartenberg in a larger format? But as you mentioned, it is all a gamble.

  9. It seems as though you’re set on a dry table wine John, I’d rather go for something perhaps a little further a field then – Bordeaux, Burgundy or Alsace even, Spain (Riebera de Duero), the Duoro, the Barossa or South America (some smashing Chilean Cabernets out there or crazy stuff from way down South). There are many fine examples of table wines (red & white) that can take time in its stride. I think, IMO, you might regard the fortifieds as being “unfashionable”, “just for pudding” and have a myriad of other preconceptions that are unfounded – go give a really old fortified like the KWV 1930 a go or one of the older vintages of the top fortified producers in the Cape – it might change your mind. Kwispedoor, ek dink jou advies is uit die boonste rakke!


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