DWWA 2013 International Trophies: Red Rhône Varietal Under £15
Boschendal, Reserve Collection Shiraz, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2011 (14.5%)
Highly individual style. Pretty, violet nose of plum, raspberries and cherries. The structured, peppery palate is all plums, sherbet and rhubarb.
UK £13.99; Bct, DGB, Hug, Mak, SWO
Tasted against • Morrisons, Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret, Rhône, France 2011 • Château Trillol, Grenache Syrah, Corbières, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 2008 • Robert Oatley, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia 2011 • Viña Mayu, Syrah Reserva, Elqui Valley, Chile 2010
A France/New World split for this taste-off has seen blends from the Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon go up against single-varietal Syrah/Shiraz from Australia, Chile and South Africa. Ultimately, Stellenbosch’s Boschendal is the winner in 2013, upgrading its first Regional Trophy since 2007 to International level.
Boschendal is often referred to as one of the grandes dames of the South African wine scene. Its history dates back to 1685 and it has consistently pioneered improvements in quality, focusing on specific varieties.
The estate is situated at the point where Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl meet and its wines can be seen as a confluence of all three areas in style. The focus is very much on Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, with the latter being the standout wine. The Reserve Collection range is always a selection of fruit from the best sites, and the 2011 is made from grapes grown in Stellenbosch. Weather patterns during the 2011 vintage were uneven with unseasonal rainfall interspersed with hot spells, making decisions on harvesting challenging. The 2011 shows fresh red cherry aromatics, with spicy tobacco notes and a linear streak of white pepper, which makes for a complex wine, rounded off with smart French oak. It can be drunk now, but will benefit from two to three years in bottle.
Lynne Sherriff MW