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Advent Calendar #19 Spier Creative Block 3 2014, an excellent Rhone style blend


27 December 2017  -  Michael Olivier

My Advent Calendar #19 red wine is the Spier Creative Block 3 2014. Made by Spier Winemaker Johan Jordaan, it is a blend of 93% Shiraz, 4% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier. The grapes came from Groenekloof in Darling, and from Stellenbosch.

Grown on both sites in decomposed granite with a clay subsoil. Both appellations are affected by maritime breezes which ameliorate the summer heat in the vineyards and allow for slower ripening and greater flavour in the final wine.

After hand harvesting the grapes were brought to the cellar where they were chilled before carefully berry sorting to remove, green, pink and raisined berries.

The alcoholic fermentation took place over 2 weeks.  Malolactic fermentation and maturation took place in 90% French and 10% American oak 300 litre barrels for 18 months of which 50% were first fill and the balance, second fill. The expert blending of this Rhône-style blend has ensured harmony amongst the three varieties and the ultimate balance between fruit, palate volume, oak extract and tannin.

Pour
From a Burgundy shaped bottle under a natural cork closure, with a simple elegant livery.  In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum red which pales out to a garnet purple at the edge. Gorgeous whiffs of mulberries and roadside brambles, violets and the peppery spice of the Shiraz. From entry, it is rich and full all the way through to the tail, where you will find the rich red fruits interwoven with cashmere clad tannins.

Pair
Delicious glass for serious sipping. Fabulous with food, roasted pork belly with crispy crackling and baked apples. It likes spicy foods, so a gentle Kerala Vegetable Curry, or a lentil bobotie would be a perfect match. At Christmas, it would be as happy with your Roast Turkey with a sausage stuffing, as it would be with your hot roasted Glazed Gammon.

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