Sunday, October 08, 2006

Guardian Peak SMG, 2004

Long boycotted during the apartheid era, South African wines are something of a mystery to me although I am beginning to be very interested in them for two main reasons. First, they seem to represent excellent value for money. Second, they seem to do very well with a grape I like very much, Chenin Blanc, which is usually called Steen in South Africa.

Last night we had something completely different while we were waiting for dinner. One of my friends brought Guardian Peak SMG 2004, which we drank before dinner with cheese (Manchego, Cheshire, and Irish Cheddar). As you might have already guessed, SMG stands for Syrah (54%), Mourvedre (36%), and Grenache (10%). With an alcohol level of 14.5%, this is certainly not a wimpy wine, and it is a little bit "in your face" with deep and rich plummy stewed fruit flavors with sweet cherry notes. This wine does not lack subtlety though, and the blend gives it a degree of spicy vanilla cedary complexity. I wondered how it would taste after a few years in the cellar.

This is a wonderful wine, and I strongly recommend it. My friends brought it back from South Africa, but I saw it on Wine Searcher for just $9.99. If this wine can really be had for that price (or anything less than $15.00 for that matter), I would dash out and buy all I could afford!

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