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 "A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines..." 
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Post "A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines..."
A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines - A White Blend From South Africa
by: Levi Reiss

We have recently been quite successful with South African wines, both bargain and organic. They have been quite good. But can such luck last forever? Fairview Trust is located on the south-west facing slopes of Paarl Mountain in the heart of the Paarl wine district, one of the best in South Africa. This land has been used for winemaking since 1699, but the company has been bottling wine for some thirty-five years. Fairview also raises some six hundred goats on the property. This particular white wine is a blend of five white grapes: Viognier (64%), Crouche Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Muscat but the last two varieties account for only about 5% of the blend. This is the first time that I have ever tasted Crouche Blanc, in fact, I never even heard of it before drinking this particular wine. It's a white variety that originated in France where it is rarely found today. You'll see Crouche Blanc grapes mostly in Australia and in South Africa where it may be called Cape Riesling, Paarl Riesling, or even simply Riesling. Make no mistake about it; Crouche Blanc is not Riesling.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Goats do Roam South Africa 2008 13.5% alcohol about $10

Let's start with the marketing materials. Tasting Note: Ripe and creamy, with delicious apricot, melon and peach cobbler notes backed by a whiff of toast on the finish. Drink now. Score - 88. (James Molesworth, at the Wine Spectator website, June 30, 2009. And now for my review.

With the first sips (no food) I noted the wine's bright acidity. The taste of honeysuckle was dominant. The initial meal centered around a barbecued chicken leg in a thick, paprika tomato sauce. The wine's acidity stepped up to meet the sauce. The accompanying potatoes roasted in chicken fat intensified the wine's fruit. With smoky tasting grilled eggplant virtually covered in garlic the wine was round and seemed sweeter.

The second meal consisted of a boxed Eggplant Rolatini stuffed with Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese and slathered with grated Parmesan cheese. The wine was light and almost feathery. It presented bright acidity and I tasted some apricots in the background. It was surprisingly long.

The final meal was also vegetarian. I started with Matjes herring that rendered the wine round with fine acidity. I noted a definite apple flavor. When paired with green beans in tomato sauce this wine was not very present but I noted some green apples. When paired with okra in a tomato, garlic, and onion sauce the blend picked up a bit and was fairly long but did not give a lot of fruit. The roasted eggplant with lots of oil and garlic took away the wine's fruit, just as the wine refreshingly washed away this delicious vegetable's grease. I made the mistake of trying this wine with Haagen Dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream. The wine was thin and had harsh acidity.

I tasted this wine with two cheeses; with the Asiago the wine wasn't very acidic. It did have some apple taste with a bit of sweetness. With a fairly tasty Swiss Emmenthaler the wine picked up some strength and length. This combination was fairly good.

Final verdict. Good, but not good enough. Actually, with the right pairing it's not bad. But I have grown to expect more from South African wines.

About The Author
Levi Reiss is the author or co-author of ten computer and Internet books, but really would rather just drink fine German or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his global wine website is with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.
The author invites you to visit:

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Tue May 25, 2010 10:07 am
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