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Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 7.01.51 PMThis South African wine from Underground Cellar is what I call the buy-in bottle. That means that it was the bottle that you would purchase with the chance of a possible upgrade. According to their website, the Demorgenzon area was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. The first vines were planted in the 1700s but it has been bought by Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum in 2003. With a pretty attractive label and a good price (under $20) the 2008 Demorgenzon DMZ Shiraz seemed like a good opportunity to taste this first vintage from this winery.

According to their website (which now only list the vintage 2009, 2011, & 2012):

Deep, purple core. Rich, berry fruit nose with lots of ripe, red plum and whiffs of white pepper. Some floral notes in the background, including violets, lavender and spring blossoms. Full in the mouth with tremendous youthful vigour. Layers of berry fruit with developing spices of pepper, cinnamon, clove and vanilla. Gentle oak integration shows and supports the elegance and roundness at this early age.

But that, of course, is the 2012. According to a different site that sells the wine:

“The first vintage for this bottling; aged in mostly French oak, one-third new, for 11 months. Bright red-ruby. High-pitched aromas of crushed blackberry, licorice and wild herbs. Sweet, silky and bright, with lively acidity framing the flavors of crushed dark berries, licorice and mint. There’s a faint porty nuance lurking but this is essentially a rather polite style of shiraz.”

So a little difference in the vintage years. So what did I think?

Color – Deep purple with a little bit of red hues.

Nose –  Blackberries and vanilla.

Taste – At first I got a little cedar and walnut with lots of blackberry tart. I also get hints of tobacco and clove.

Finish – Long and lingering with the lively acidity they talked about.

Overall, I really enjoyed this wine. It is a great value and I haven’t had a whole lot of South African Shiraz. I am sure there are some better ones out there but this one is really good and I will look for more.

Rating: A

~Justin