89(+?) Points | International Wine Cellar , March/April 2009
($35) Saturated ruby. Medicinal black fruits, licorice and a meaty nuance on the nose and palate. Dense and smooth but youthfully impenetrable now, with the medicinal quality carrying through in the mouth. There's very good texture and intensity here, but this classically dry wine needs patience. Finishes with very smooth tannins and a hint of exotic flowers. (Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL)
About South Africa
South Africa has produced wines in the area of Cape Town since the 17th century, but the country's significant place in the U.S. market is far more recent. During the era of apartheid, trade sanctions imposed on imports from South Africa kept these wines out of the U.S. and many other markets, with the effect that local South African winemakers had little incentive to produce wines that could compete in a global setting...
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While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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