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.