Wines of power are somewhat out of fashion relative to wines of elegance and restraint but there remains a place for the former especially when the winter cold draws in. The Gravel Hill Shiraz from Hartenberg has never been particularly shy or modest but the 2012 impresses on account of the intricacy it manages to retain while simultaneously being pretty damn potent.
Matured for 18 months in 100% new French oak, it has an alcohol of 14.9%. The nose is wonderfully complex with notes of red and black fruit, lilies, some meatiness, some maltiness plus pepper and spice. The palate is rich and deep but not without freshness, the finish suitably savoury. Flavour-filled and satisfying but a long way away from the low-alc, whole-bunch ferment stuff that’s currently in vogue. Price: R595 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
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