Honoring the World Cup! (with wine, of course)

Recently, I decided to try a South African wine, in part to honor the World Cup that I understand many people have enjoyed.  Not exactly my cup of tea for TV sports?  But that’s alright, I appreciate the game’s athleticism and, ahem, aesthetic qualities.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the bold….  Goats do Roam Red 2008. Just an editorial note, because it’s hilarious… this is actually a word play on “Cotes du Rhone,” as the vineyard uses a blend of Rhône varieties such as Shiraz, Cinsaut, Carignan and Mourvèdre with a dash of local Pinotage.  The Goats do Roam vineyard now claims a history about an old herd of goats actually selecting the grapes for the first bottles…  I’ll let you decide what to believe.


I’m actually completely inexperienced with South African wines, so this was basically a first for me.  The “Red” is (as mentioned) a blend of varietals, only 2  of which I’ve even heard of!  (Yes, that statement clearly deserves an exclamation point in my book).  So, here is the breakdown you’ve been waiting for (no? you weren’t? really?  well, it’s for me then…):

Syrah 61%: dark, violet to berry, world’s 7th most popular grape!
Cinsaut 14%: drought resistant,  appreciates a dry climate, produces large cylindrical bunches of black grapes with fairly thick skins, adds softness to harsher Cabernets, typically.
Mourvèdre 13%: produces tannic wines that can be high in alcohol, gives structure. Its taste varies greatly according to area, but often has a wild, gamey or earthy flavour, with soft red fruit flavours
Grenache 8%: one of the most widely planted red wine grapes in the world. It is generally spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content.  Popularly combined with Cinsaut and Carignan (shocking, I know!).
Carignan 4%: often used as a deep coloring component in blends, and because it’s very delicate and hard to balance, it’s rarely made in a varietal form.

So, I think my palate picked up a bit on this dynamic blend and it came out tasting quite tangy, which is a word rarely used to describe wine… at least not a good one.  But this wasn’t bad!  It tasted a bit young and I could taste such a flurry of flavors and textures, that it was hard to get one singular sense of the wine.    But here is what I got:

Taste: Berries (of the straw and black types) the a quick switch to spices including….chocolate, pepper, vanilla, and a little oak.   The finish was strong with spice but dissipated a little too quickly for my taste.

Texture: All over the place, lush at the beginning, but a little dryer (grittier) on the tongue towards the end.

Overall thoughts?  Actually, this is a fun, drinkable wine for a GREAT price.  I picked this up for $8 at Whole Foods in Cambridge.  Sure, it’s a little hard to keep tack of the tastes, but that makes it a suitable table wine for most dinners.  I think it’s actually much better with tasty delights than on its own.

JuliaUncorked Says: 75/100

Suggestions for more South African wines?

2 Responses to “Honoring the World Cup! (with wine, of course)”

  1. Joe Woodchuck Says:

    I’m a cider guy, myself, but I like this post!

  2. […] turn… “going vinegar”… that’s a verb, right?  It was sour and tangy (and not in that good way).  So, I went up to return it and to her credit, the bartender said, “you know, that bottle […]

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