Over my birthday at the beginning of July I had Covid, by far the worst consequence of which was losing my senses of smell and taste. I’ve heard some horror stories from people in the wine trade experiencing this and not fully recovering, which for the past two years has terrified me (I had avoided Covid until now). I’ve had Chablis and Bordeaux (in a restaurant) in the past week, both of which didn’t smell of much and had oddly metallic tastes. Other things I love - such as coffee - have started to taste and smell better in the past week, so I was anxious whether my enjoyment of wine might have been restored. I also felt that only at home, in a controlled and familiar environment, would I be able to fully attest one way or the other.
I’d been wanting to try Duncan Savage’s flagship red since buying a case of the 2018 over a year ago, a 100% Stellenbosch Syrah from one of the Cape’s most exciting winemakers that received glowing reviews from prominent South Africa critics Tim Atkin and Greg Sherwood. A quick note: no, after more than a fortnight, my sense of smell is still pretty poor, but this wine was v enjoyable nevertheless!
From the nose, I was still able to appreciate subtle aromas of fresh blueberry, lavender, bacon fat, ground pepper and warm earth; really textbook Syrah, an utterly intoxicating smell that whets one’s appetite for grilled meat.
The palate is complex, with saturated cranberry & blueberry, dense with high acidity at this youthful stage, and plucky but very fine tannins, and a lasting finish.
What this wine must really taste like, when one’s senses are firing at 100%, I can only imagine! Really, really impressive stuff. I’m delighted I have a case and can’t wait to try it again - maybe in a few weeks’ time 😅🤞 94+ — 16 days ago
Holy moly what a wine! — 5 days ago
Very good, spicy, with tar, tobacco and fruity sweetness. — 10 days ago
Bright. Floral. Wild cherry wild raspberry strawberry. Ripe on nose. A little less ripe on palate. Some minerality. Gift from Paul — 5 days ago
One of those cases where I can't make a mere sip and fight for the right to finish the bottle. Yet it's sad, cause it's not available anymore in my local store. The first thing to notice is the pale colour of the wine. Apparently, caused by gentle extraction. A beautiful bouquet of fried sunflower seeds, raspberry, strawberry, dark chocolate, spices and gouache. Delicate on the palate, juicy and almost perfectly balanced with good acidity and velvety tannins. It is also flavourful and has a long-lasting aftertaste. To summarize, it is approachable and delicious Pinot Noir, stylistically closer to Bourgogne with a ripe twist. — 19 days ago
Opaque, dark red-purple in appearance. Aromas of vegetables, meat, black fruits. Medium plus bodied, dry, 15.0 ABV. A nice departure from California as the fruit is on the back, so less jammy. Soft tannins and a long finish. Excellent value from Stellenbosch!
93 points — 5 days ago
Coop. Not quite as good as the SMV but a good easy drinking wine. — 15 days ago
Tasty, crisp, SA Chardonnay, albeit somewhat one noted. — 20 days ago
Shiraz Cab Sauv — 12 days ago