Weekly Under $20 Value Wine Pick – 2006 Mountain River Syrah/Pinotage, South Africa

Winery: Mountain River WinesMountainRiverFront

Bottling: 2006 Reserve Pinotage 50%/Syrah 50%

Importer: MT Global Wines

Region: South Africa

Sub-Region: Western Cape

Estimated Retail Price: $7

Purchase Details: A friend who shared this with us purchased it for approximately $7 from the Trader Joe’s store in Daly City.

Tasting Notes: Visually, the wine was an inky, dark purple color.  On the nose, smoke, wild plum, dark berries and black pepper.  In the mouth, black plums, blackberries, more smoke, and that distinctive pinotage beetle bug-like flavor (My path to being a true, hard core foodie started at age 3).  Lots of structure, moderate tannins and a pretty long and distinctive finish round out the experience.

Pinotage is definitely not for everyone.  It’s hard to describe the flavor of it until you actually taste it.  Like gewürztraminer, you’ll probably end up either loving or hating it.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: This wine just screams backyard bbq and charcoal-grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.  Plastic cups are ok with this one.MountainRiverBack

Winery & Other Background Information: This is the first wine I’ve had from this winery, and to tell you the truth, probably only the tenth or twelfth time I’ve had any wine from South Africa that I can remember.  I just don’t get around to this region’s wines very much.

The umbrella company is the Mountain River Group, which actually has about nine labels under it; Mountain River Wines being the flagship label of the company.  The company is both negociant and winemaker and has been making wine since 1993.

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