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Tormentoso Syrah-Mourvedre 2011

Rhone Red Blends from South Africa
  • RP89
14% ABV
  • RP89
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Intensely aromatic, with notes of orange-peel, leather, cigar tobacco, black licorice and dark-plummy fruit. The Tormentoso Syrah-Mourvedre is medium to full bodied with layers of black fruit and black foest cake. The finish shows typical black wine gum flavors rounded out by soft, juicy tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Tormentoso Syrah & Mourvedre is a blend of 93% Syrah and 7% respectively that is matured entirely in American oak for 15 months. It has a lovely creamy bouquet with chocolate-tinged red berry fruit that is plush and lavish. The palate is medium-bodied with copious kirsch and red currant fruit on the entry. It is as smooth as a baby's skin, harmonious with a caressing velvety, spicy finish. It might pall in quantity, but a half bottle would slip down the throat easily.
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Tormentoso

Tormentoso

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Tormentoso, South Africa
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Tormentoso is a range of premium, vineyard-focused wines produced by the team at MAN Vintners.

"Cabo Tormentoso" (translated as "Stormy Cape" or "Cape of Storms") is the original name for the Cape of Good Hope given to it by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomieu Dias who first rounded the Cape in 1488.

The story goes that upon his return home, the Queen of Portugal took an immediate dislike to the name and changed it to "Cabo da Boa Esperança" – the Cape of Good Hope as we know it today.

There are multiple readings of the word Tormentoso: drama, torment, struggle. All of these seem apt when you consider where our grapes are grown.

The vines grow in a dry area with little or no irrigation, but the rocky shale soils of the Agter-Paarl region allow the roots to penetrate deeply, to get to the moisture reserves. The vines have to endure a certain amount of struggle to ripen their grapes, and it's this torment that produces our distinctive wines with concentrated flavors and aromas.

We have sought out pockets of excellence from among our growers' finest vineyards and have chosen to highlight them in the Tormentoso range. Such as the Tormentoso Old Vine Chenin Blanc, where the grapes come from a 33-year-old vineyard, or the excellent Bush Vine Pinotage vineyard that always produces a bright, clean modern expression of this grape.

South Africa

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With an important wine renaissance is in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” 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, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing 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 brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

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 red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy 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 close behind.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

GZT10055056_2011 Item# 134773