A win­ter warmer

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Wine of the Week: Do­ran Vine­yards Shi­raz 2013 R120 As you read about the top Shi­raz at our weekly Well­sFaber Som­me­lier Se­lec­tion blind tast­ings, spare a thought for Luvo Ntezo, lost in the wilds of Tus­cany, ad­vis­ing well-heeled guests from the One&Only ho­tel on Ital­ian wines.

For­eign wine tours are but one of the perks in the ar­du­ous ca­reer of a five-star som­me­lier. But some­one has to do them. With tourism fast tak­ing over from min­ing as the thing South Africa does best, a ca­reer as a som­me­lier is some­thing for ev­ery school-leaver to se­ri­ously con­sider.

With this Ital­ian back­ground es­tab­lished, Luvo’s choice of a Shi­raz from the Swart­land this week is some­what un­ex­pected, as there is pre­cious lit­tle Shi­raz in north­ern Italy. San­giovese and Neb­bi­olo are more likely, but if you want that fine and min­eral style in your glass, you should con­sider Idiom San­giovese. If you pre­fer a blend, go for In­ge­nu­ity from Neder­burg, which has to be one of the finest reds of fi­nesse in the Cape cel­lar.

The Do­ran Vine­yards Shi­raz 2013 is quite dif­fer­ent. Pun­chily pow­er­ful, it has oo­dles of ripe straw­ber­ries and black­pep­per spice. Try it with duck breast or pork fil­let with a plum sauce and roast pota­toes. It’s a great win­ter warmer.

The Do­ran of the brand name is Ir­ish­man Ed­win Do­ran, who paid for his Paarde­berg win­ery by sell­ing his col­lec­tion of Bordeaux blends to Chi­nese in­vestors at the top of the mar­ket a few years ago. It’s called re­bal­anc­ing your port­fo­lio.

The Swart­land is cer­tainly the place to look for a rich Shi­raz. Un­til hi­jacked by PR luvvies from Fran­schhoek, who made it tack­ily com­mer­cial, the Swart­land Rev­o­lu­tion was the an­nual ground zero for Shi­raz lovers. Rhone Rangers in Range Rovers would sit on the stoep of the Royal Ho­tel in Riebeek-Kas­teel, sip­ping over­ripe Shi­raz from Riedel glasses big­ger than their heads, but not their egos. They found the pep­per spices well suited to their Porsche Cayennes. This wine is made in the same re­bel­lious ego-for­ward style, but with a pocket-friendly price tag. The Ir­ish have a long tra­di­tion of re­bel­lion, so this lively red is not un­ex­pected. Ntezo is head som­me­lier at the One&Only, V&A Water­front, Cape Town

NEIL PENDOCK with LUVO NTEZO NICE BOU­QUET Luvo Ntezo knows his wine in­side out

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