Described, quite deservedly as as the creator of memorable, seductive wines, DECO looked into what makes Shannon Vineyards, situated in the Elgin Valley, stand out in a region filled with esteemed wine makers…
Shannon Vineyards is owned by brothers James and Stuart Downes, and has established an enviable reputation as one of South Africa’s finest wine producers. So what is it that sets them apart? A combination of things, they explained:
– its exceptional cool-climate terrain
– ancient soils
– meticulously cared for vineyards; and
– dedicated artisanal winemaking
Shannon Vineyards, whose name pays homage to the Irish ancestry of the Downes brothers, produces three highly-acclaimed site-specific wines – all with names taken from geographical features along the mountain range above the vineyards: Shannon Vineyards Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc, Mount Bullet Merlot and Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir – as well as a Pinot Noir Noble Late Harvest called Macushla.
Here is a breakdown of their top four wines:
Shannon Vineyards Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc
A beautifully poised wine that has garnered widespread praise, with the Sauvignon’s vibrancy balanced by a small component of barrel-fermented Semillon adding richer notes and complexity to the wine. Leading wine critic Christian Eedes of Winemag.com described the 2015 vintage as “an absolute cracker” and “sheer artistry”. Distinctive aromas of citrus, pear, white peach and blackcurrant follow onto an expansive palate exhibiting excellent fruit purity and a juicy texture with enduring length. This food-friendly wine is a perfect match for sushi, tempura prawns or seared tuna.
Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet Merlot
With many prestigious awards behind its name including a pinnacle 5 star rating from Platter’s wine guide, the Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet has shown itself to be the most highly rated Merlot in South Africa and one of the country’s finest red wines. The stellar, immensely attractive Mount Bullet 2012 displays fragrant ripe red fruit on the nose, especially plums and dark cherries. The palate exhibits an earthy complexity with minerality but still with an excellent expression of ripe fruit and freshness. The wine is round and full, silky and elegant, with a long finish. Enjoy with a beautiful grass-fed beef fillet with a berry and red wine reduction.
Shannon Vineyards Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir
“Has it all – elegance, polish, balance and careful oak. … It is delicious and once in a while you taste something forever memorable – this Pinot Noir was it!” raved Carrie Adams, well-known wine retailer and journalist. The 2013 vintage displays typical Burgundian complexity, with ripe cherry, raspberry and strawberry notes backed by hints of truffle, mushroom and spice. Elegant, rich and complex, this velvety smooth Pinot Noir has great depth and long, lingering power at the finish. Enjoy this wine with duck that has been slowly roasted to perfection.
Shannon Vineyards Macushla Pinot Noir Noble Late Harvest 2012
A unique ‘darling’ of a wine, a dessert wine that takes its name Macushla from an Irish term of affection. With its dried fruit and candied flavours and beautiful creamy strawberry character, it makes for the perfectly indulgent finale to a delectable dinner, and is the ideal complement to a red berry pudding or a cheese platter.
You’ve heard the name, now don’t forget it!
For more information:
Tel: 021 859 2491 · Email: email@example.com
Or visit them online at shannonwines.com
Shannon Vineyards is open for wine-tasting by appointment only.