2015 Bryan MacRobert "Abbotsdale" Shiraz Swartland

SKU #1321599 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Abbotsdale Shiraz is blended with 5% each of Cinsault and Mourvedre. It has a slightly reserved bouquet with mulberry, black fruit and earthy aromas with just a touch of wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, crisp acidity and quite an elegant finish with clove and black pepper lingering on the aftertaste. It leaves you wanting another sip-job done. (NM)  (4/2017)

K&L Notes

90% Shiraz, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault. Grown on dry-farmed bush vines with organic farming and minimal-intervention winemaking. A great representation of the terroir of this village.

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Price: $12.99
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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/2/2018 | Send Email
Let me start by saying I'm not always a huge fan of Shiraz/Syrah, but this wine I just can't argue with. Perhaps you haven't heard of Bryan Macrobert or Eben Sadie, or know of the new wave of winemakers that they represent, but you don't have to know any of that to love this wine. Suffice to say, it's top quality fruit, top quality winemaking, and this is one of the best expressions of shiraz that I've come across. The aromatics are clean, lifted, and gorgeous. The palate is focused, with a great balance of tannin, fruit, and savory aspects. Its a clean and easy drinking wine, with lots of depth. I'd have to say this is one of the best new values in the store.

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.