First Sightings Shiraz 2011
First Sightings wines are made at the Capes most southerly winery called Strandveld, situated in between the village of Elim and Cape Aghullas. Only eleven kilometres from the Atlantic ocean their vineyards enjoy the benefits of having a cool climate assisted by the fresh on shore winds, which enables the grapes to ripen more slowly. The benefits are that the wines produced from this region (Wine of Origin Elim) tend to be lower in alcohol, offer a lighter style with excellent acidity which bodes well for the wines aging potential.
Previously a sheep and wheat farm, the 850 hectare property was purchased by Nick Diemont and Gerrie Wagener in 2001. They immediately had the soils analysed for the planting of suitable grape varieties and today the farm boasts 70 ha under vine with varieties including sauvignon blanc, semillon, shiraz and Pinot Noir. Two ranges of wines are produced with the premium Strandveld range consisting of three reds and two whites. The First Sighting range, which offers a sauvignon blanc, a shiraz rose, a pinot noir and a shiraz, has its name linked to the past and to the romance of the famous Portuguese Mariners, that sailed around Cape Aghullas over three hundred years ago.
While enjoying the unusually balmy weather in the Cape this weekend, we had a rare winter opportunity to fire up our braai and enjoy some excellent fillet of Springbok. We are partial to shiraz with game and as we had a bottle of the 2011 vintage of the First Sighting Shiraz it took no persuasion for us to open it! The wine is full-bodied with spicy pepper and black cherry aromas, with silky rich flavours of spicy blackcurrant fruit with supple tannins and hints of sweet oak on the finish. The wine was matured for 12 months in second and third fill 300litre French oak barrels which enabled the tannins and oak to integrate perfectly. The wine is lovely to savour now but a few years further in bottle will offer another pleasant experience!
Expect to pay: R82.50