JUST THE FACTS
Price: R95.00 (as of Jan 2017)
Wine Region: Botrivier
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: Moderate
Occasion: Mid-week, post suicide hour, once the kids are in bed
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If you read nothing else
Cleaner than a Spice Girls radio edit, with posh spice elements of pepper and cloves on the vanguard. Ripe black fruit and some oaky vanilla also present.
On the palate, ripe blackberries arrive first, with slow attack sweet sugar plums arriving a little later.
There is a fair amount of black fruit sweetness (for a dry red), but the acidity is every bit its match. The end result is beautifully balanced.
Mouthfeel is marvelously soft, as is the finish.
Vanilla lingers into the tail.
The Cool Kids from Bot River
Bot River is a little like The Smashing Pumpkins; terrible name, superb products.
The region is home to rockstar wineries like Luddite, Beaumont Family Wines, and Wildekrans, but also hosts lesser known rising stars that offer superb value. Gabriëlskloof is one such rising star in the area, which is why the winery provides such insane value – especially on its shiraz (It’s Five Arches blend is also superb, but at R190, the value train derails somewhat.
Before they were cool
Being able to buy a bottle of Gabrielskloof Shiraz for #underR100 is like scoring free Guns n Roses tickets in 1987. The quality is already out in the public domain, but mainstream hair-metallers are yet to catch on to the genius before them. Just be sure you snatch up some bottles before Gabriëlskloof have their Sweet Child o’ Mine moment, and blow up on Wine Spectator. You won’t be paying double digits after that.
A rose by any other name
In case you cared, when G’nR had just formed, and were yet to decide on a band name, two little gems that were at the top of the list of possibles were “AIDS” and “Heads of Amazon”. Thankfully history took a different course.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.