What I Drank Last Night
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Hartenberg The Stork Shiraz 2003

Large and in charge.

Alcohol is a natural preservative and it seems to be playing that role in the case of Hartenberg The Stork Shiraz 2003, a wine with an abv given as 15% on the label and 15.5% according to the 2006 edition of Platter’s.

The Stork is Hartenberg’s answer to Barossa and is intended to be rich and powerful but as we all know such wines can easily become overdone – when I encountered the 2006 vintage (abv of 14.74%) at the media preview tasting for this year’s Nederburg Auction tasting I found it “big, hollow, uninteresting” and it scored it 15/20.

The 2003 matched with braaied peri-peri chicken over the weekend was much more compelling with loads of red and black fruit and plenty of spice, including coriander in particular. Rich and thick textured, it still had drinkability. Most striking perhaps was how youthful it was. Score: 18/20.

Comments

  1. Nie veel delikate blommetjies daar nie, Smirrie, maar nogtans vrek lekker goed.

  2. Kwispedoor is Rijks nou maar nie eenmaal n great plaas met goeie variety.

  3. One is left wondering though: could the wine have been even more epic had they harvested a touch earlier? After all, 2003 was cool and produced generally healthy crops, which offered an excellent chance to harvest later than normal at lower comparative sugars…
    I also had a big wine that worked this weekend: a Rijk’s Semillon 2003 (14.4% ABV). My second-last bottle of this was pretty good, but this last one was even better. We raced through it!

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