Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Antipodes and South Africa.

Tonight's tour of the wine world takes me Down Under - at least it would if I was still in England - to Australia and New Zealand.  But not before a quick stop off in South Africa.
Despite the illustrious grapegrowing and winemaking traditions behind these three wine regions - wine grapes were planted in South Africa a good 100 years before California - I was a tad disappointed with the wines I tasted.  In fact, I found myself overwhelmingly unimpressed.  It's week 12 of my Wines of the World class and perhaps I'm a little jaded, after all I seem to recollect that I have enjoyed many quaffable Australian wines in the past.  So I am just going to mention one wine from each country that I think I could buy and drink without too much bother or fuss.
From South Africa, in spite of the wince-inducing pun in this wine's name, I quite enjoyed a Goats Do Roam, 2006 Goat-Roti (WO Coastal Region). Similar to a northern Rhône blend, this was an easy drinking wine. Hailing from New Zealand a Sauvignon blanc, of course, a Craggy Range, 2010 (Martinborough).  Heavy on the pyrazines, I could imagine myself drinking this very chilled on a very hot day.  And from Australia, a d'Arenburg, 2008 The Laughing Magpie (McLaren Vale) - a Rhône blend, again.
I photographed the Yalumba Viognier just because I liked the label with it's depiction of rootstocks, but I can add that this particular wine displayed strong varietal characteristics.  Of the 23 wines tasted tonight only one had a cork closure - a Lameka, 2009 The Marschall Shiraz (Barossa Valley) - suggestive of the notion that in the New World wine producers have thoroughly embraced new wine bottle closures.


New Hampshire Wineman said...

V-girl, do I sense a trend toward advocacy here?
As for So. Africa, I have found some of their wines quite affordable, and so far I have "liked" the Chenin Blanc, though my samples have been few, but then the availability is few too.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Advocacy for screw caps? That would be Vinomaker, not me. I'm still overly fond of cork.
You should go to England - the supermarkets alone are full of South African wines.