Thursday, September 14, 2006

Too much choice can be a bad thing

In March 2006 we went back over to the valley to take a look at how the wines were developing and to hit a few bars with Zakkie. We had our six barrels but Zakkie also had 12 0r more alternative wines that we could add if we wanted to. Shiraz with everything!! - shiraz viognier, late picked shiraz, whole berry barrel fermented shiraz (strange but wonderful), old oak, all afternoon we add 10cl of this and remove 10cl of that - Zakkie stands there with the patience of a saint while the two Engelsmen mess about pretending they know what they are doing. Whats the film scene where two blokes taste loads of wine and progressively get the glasses more and more mixed up and end up falling over drunk? Not quite that bad but, there was a bit of palette fatigue towards the end. Finally we have the blend - an afternoons work - the fruit of our labours, we taste it against the original six barrels - and decide that we prefer the ones we started with and don't need anything else added. Each barrel of the six tasted slightly different but when you put them together the wine is big (15% alcohol!) but balanced. The initial impression is of spicy dark fruits like a summer pudding with cinnamon added. You can taste the oak at the moment as the wine was a vanilla note but this will fade over time.


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