A winter warmer
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