Another contender in the latest blend fad to sweep through the Cape winelands, and this one is interesting in that the cellar has whacked 11% viognier into the blend, quite a way up from the usual 4-6-ish percent. Yet the wine sits in your glass at a respectable 13.9 % alcohol, not the big and unctuous levels that one usually associates with this blend and its full ripe, full sweet viognier. So what happened? The notes show that the viognier did come in at 28 degrees Balling, so very ripe and with a high potential alcohol. But the shiraz component was harvested earlier than most shiraz, at 24 degrees Balling.
The result is a wine with less of that perfumed, even cloying viognier character. As this blend goes, it is likable though I have my deep reservations about these blends – if you have good shiraz, use it on its own, don’t pep it up with the florid exuberance of viognier. And the Pierneef? One of South Africa’s celebrated landscape artists, the owners of the farm (Rupert family) have the largest collection. This is their “ultra premium” range, above (?) the “classic” range. How we hype our adjectives.