Badenhorst Family Wines The Curator Red 2011

Badenhorst Family Wines The Curator Red 2011: Big, bold juicy fruit twist-and-pour mellows with air time to become a less boisterous and more calmly enjoyable fruit-sweet sipper; pepper, juicy cherry, black cherry, sour cherry, plum, vanilla, riff of rhubarb on the finish. Smooth; convivial tannin; carefree acidity; resembles an Aussie shiraz—no surprise with a blend of 95% shiraz, 3% cinsault, 1% mourvedre, and 1% viognier. Wine comes from Swartland, South Africa, a short drive north of Cape Town; it is Cape Town’s breadbasket with stretching wheat fields and dark soil (Swartland is Dutch for “Black Land”). By the time you reach looming mountains, wheat fields turn to wine and olive, fruit and vegetable farms; the hot and dry climate favors grapes included here and creates comparison to Aussie efforts, although local makers may prefer comparison to southern Rhône blends. Either way, nice company; this is very approachable demonstration of South African value. $12The Curator Red