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Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • WS90
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WS89
  • WW92
  • WS91
  • WS90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A spicy Shiraz from the vineyards of Central Victoria brightens with a boost of Viognier for aroma and balance, as often practiced in France's most highly regarded appellation of the Northern Rhone Valley, Côte Rôtie. The grapes grown in this Austrialian vineyard where planted on 19th century French rootstocks, another nod to the French tradition & influence in this new world wine. This wine is a collaborative effort between two renowned wine families; Chapoutier from the Rhône Valley in France, and Terlato family of Napa Valley in California.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Starts off with a blast of dark berry and spice, then expands into nuances of wet earth, crushed stone and coffee, the fruit rejoining the chorus on the finish. Medium-weight, with a sense of refinement underneath. Best from 2012 through 2018.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This wine has been a perennial favorite, but it does offer a very Rhône-inspired set of characteristics, being meaty and somewhat feral in aroma. There are green peppercorn scents as well, and the flavors are intensely savory, spicy and herbal, with a foundation of plum and blackberry fruit.
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Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier

Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier

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Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, , Australia
Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier
Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier combines the vision of Anthony J. Terlato, the founder of luxury importer and marketer Terlato Wines International, and Michel Chapoutier, the esteemed Rhône grower and vintner whose compelling wines have been exalted by critics around the world. The origin of the Terlato & Chapoutier partnership in Australia dates back to 1998, when Chapoutier enthusiastically told Terlato about a top vineyard site in Australia. Located on an eastern-facing slope on the southern edge of the Pyrenees Hills in western Central Victoria, the region’s unique iron-rich and schist soils could produce “great wines,” according to Chapoutier, and the resulting single-vineyard Shiraz from the "Malakoff" vineyard and Shiraz-Viognier blend have been highly lauded since their release in 2006.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Pinotage

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A distinctively earthy, rustic, and divisive variety, Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape. A cross between finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, it was created in 1925 and surprised its inventors by being darker and more tannic than either of its parents. Pinotage at first seemed nearly impossible to tame, with its bold profile and wild flavors. While the grape has always had detractors, advances in viticultural and winemaking techniques have since helped to make Pinotage wines more palatable. Today it is a popular South African export both as a single varietal wine and in so-called “Cape blends,” in which Pinotage forms a significant proportion of a blend with other red varieties. It is grown very minimally outside of South Africa.

In the Glass

There is no mistaking the smell of Pinotage—common descriptors include tobacco, smoke, tar, bacon, licorice, hoisin sauce, and burnt rubber, in addition to more run-of-the-mill fruit like plum and blackberry. The flavors are bold, and tannins are firm but sweet—in fact, many Pinotage wines bear more resemblance to Australian Shiraz than to Pinot Noir.

Perfect Pairings

For a wine this powerful, food should be equally bold, and gets bonus points for mirroring Pinotage’s sweet and sour flavors. Classic smoky South African braai (barbecue) is the most obvious match, while grilled curry sausage, lamb biryani, or richly spiced beef stew would be equally welcome at the table.

Sommelier Secret

The name “Pinotage” is a subtle portmanteau: The Pinot part is obvious, but the second half is a bit confusing. In the early 1900s, Cinsault was known in South Africa as “Hermitage”—hence Pinotage. The somewhat less appealing “Herminoir” was also considered.

EMP251075_2008 Item# 106395

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