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Saronsberg Full Circle 2004 – 2013

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Size matters.
Size matters.

Yesterday a vertical tasting of Full Circle from Saronsberg in Tulbagh, the wine billed as the “most awarded Rhône-style red blend in the country”.

This is a wine which is unashamedly about being big, rich, ripe and generous. I have to say while I’m all for wines not being too green, I found the line-up a little unrelenting. My favourite was the 2009, the vintage with the lowest residual sugar of all at 2.3g/l (many other vintages approaching 4g/l) and also the least decorated in terms of competition.

The soon-to-be-released 2013 epitomises the house style. A blend of 76% Shiraz, 12% Grenache 12%, 8% Mourvèdre and 4% Viognier, the separate components spent 11 months in French oak, 100% new before being blended and matured for another nine months.

The oak is currently very much to the fore but there’s also red and black fruit, dried herbs and spice plus slight reduction. It’s very big but balanced with bright acidity and smooth but not slippery tannins. Price: R275 a bottle.

Score: 88/100.

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