What I Drank Last Night
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First Sighting Shiraz 2008


Judging the Shiraz category at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show last week, I despaired at how many examples seemed overblown with big alcohols (14.5% and up) as well as significant residual sugar. Strandveld in Elim might be attracting attention for its white wines but its Shiraz is not to be overlooked – last night the 2008 under second label First Sighting really impressed for its understatement. Red cherry, herbs and pepper on the nose while the palate was almost light-bodied but really flavourful and fresh. Includes 1% Viognier (which obviously makes all the difference). Matured for 12 months in 300-litre barrels, 20% new. Abv 13.5%, RS 2.9 g/l, TA 5.6g/l, pH 3.4. Score: 16/20.


  1. Kwispedoor says:

    On this topic, I’ve made mention before of the great value offered by the De Morgenzon DMZ Concerto 2008 (mainly Shiraz). Such freshness and clear fruit and all that at a guzzable 13% alc. Yesterday, I read that their 2009 vintage weighs in at 14.7% ABV – this, from a much cooler vintage. *&@$@#/$ 

  2. dionysus says:

    Interesting to note that the last Wine Mag Shiraz Challenge winner was Lands End Syrah 2008, also from Elim. Alan Mullins commented that the wine was a two bottle wine…not showy, or blockbuster or a in need of food in order to have more than 2 glasses. I am sure the same applies to the  First Sighting Shiraz 2008 and hence the reason I bought a few bottles.

  3. Kwispedoor says:

    Agreed – I really like the 2009 vintage of this too. Possibly even more than the Strandveld version.

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