A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 814: Best South African Wine… and Other Delights

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The Echo of G. 2013 (Western Cape South Africa, $250, available from Winehouse Imports, call 647-588-9463)
This is the finest South African wine I’ve tasted in a long time! It’s the second wine to Imizuzu, “First Growth of the Cape.” A blend made by the late Denis Dubourdieu, legendary Bordeaux oenologist, of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot, selected from six vineyards across the Western Cape. Dense purple colour; cedary, meaty nose of vanilla, toast, blueberry and blackcurrant; full-bodied, dry, rich and full in the mouth; a savoury, broad-shouldered wine of 15% alcohol. Well-balanced, beautifully integrated oak and lovely mouth-feel. (93–94)

Best’s Great Western Shiraz Bin No. 1 2018 (Grampians region of Victoria, Australia, $21.95, CSPC #222323, Giftable Wines, to be released Nov.13th)
Dark ruby colour; spicy, blackberry and pepper nose with toasty oak and a leafy-floral note; medium to full-bodied, savoury black fruit flavours well-balanced with acidity. Great value. (90)

Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada 2017 (Montilla-Moriles, $24.95, 375 mL, Vintages #499152; to be released Nov. 27th)
Deep coppery-bronze colour; burnt orange peel, barley sugar and molasses on the nose; full bodied, unctuous, honeyed, raisiny, dried fig and nut flavours, but kept from cloying by fresh acidity. (92)

Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay 2019 (Carneros, $63.95, Vintages #441089, to be released Nov. 13th)
Bright straw in colour; spicy, pineapple, clove and toasty oak on the nose; full-bodied, buttery, peach and pineapple flavours with a creamy mouth-feel. (90)

Ceretto Barolo 2016 (Piemonte, $99.95, available from Winehouse Imports, call 647-588-9463)
Medium ruby colour, showing a touch of tawniness at the rim; cherry, vanilla and mint on the nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, elegant, firmly structured; full on the palate and beautifully balanced. Needs 4–5 years. (91–93)

Caymus Conundrum White 2019 (California, $18.95, Vintages #311563)
“The exact blend,” says the Wagner Family of Wine, “is under wraps, (but) every vintage includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, and Viognier.” Light straw in colour; spicy, aromatic, peachy-pineapple bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, rich peach and melon flavours with a note of orange on the warm, alcoholic finish. (90)

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