When you think wine, what does the letter "S" conjure in your mind?
We are going to find out the answer to that question from many bloggers today as it is Wine Blogging Wednesday #47. Erin and Michelle of Grape Juice are this month's hosts and their theme harkens back to my childhood, to the days of watching Sesame Street on the television. Their theme is: Today’s Wine Brought To You By The Letter “S”.
You had plenty of leeway for this tasting. You just had to select a wine with a word starting with the letter "S." That "S" word had to be directly related to the wine, such as its region, appellation, producer, varietal, style, winemaker, etc.
I chose a wine with several "S" references, the 2003 Stellenzicht Cellars Golden Triangle Shiraz ($15). So the winery name begins with a "S" and the grape also begins with a "S." Plus, this wine is from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa ("S" + "S"). Plus, the owner of this estate is Hans-Joachim Schreiber (a fifth "S").
Wine making in this region dates back over three hundred years. The estate of Stellenzicht (which translates as "View of Stellen", referring to the Stellenbosch Mountain) dates back to 1692 though it has had different names over the years. In 1981, the estate was acquired by Hans-Joachim Schreiber who then renamed it Stellenzicht.
The Golden Triangle Shiraz is barrel-aged in French (about 85%) and American oak. It is made form 100% Shiraz and has an alcohol content of 15%. This wine has a dark, ruby color, almost purple. On the nose, there are strong ripe plum and spice notes. It is a full bodied wine, with intense smoky flavors coupled with ripe plum and blackberry notes. There is also some black pepper tastes and even a bit of bacon. The tannins are noticeable but restrained and it has a moderately long finish. This is a wine for food, for game meats or a hearty steak. I very much enjoyed it, especially at this price point.
I have had other wines from this winery before and none of them have ever disappointed. Even their low end label, Hill & Dale, presents excellent wines for $10 and under. If you want to try some South African wines, a good place to start is with Stellenzicht.