Homestretch baby. I found another un-reviewed Australian Shiraz while perusing the liquor store today - so that will probably be on deck for the remaining 6 weeks. I also had a total brainwave: I bet other local-area liquor stores might carry more, or different, varieties of Shiraz! So, since I'm off work (yeah!), I might go beyond my 3km radius when choosing next week's selection. It will be scary to travel outside my comfort zone, but I will do it for the sake of the blog. In retrospect, it really surprises and impresses me that I've been able to review 41 bottles of Shiraz from my local shelves... after all, I do not live in a booming metropolis. (For the keeners: 5 bottles have arrived from "foreign" liquor stores)
This week's selection has been taunting me for 30+ weeks. I first saw it on the shelf way back in week 14 or 15 and I was captivated by its label. I don't know whether it was the fact that the wolf is holding a "downward dog" yoga pose or his skeletor-esq styling, but I was intrigued. Plus, you can't deny the similarities between Wolftrap and Wolf Blass. I passed it up for another label and then by the time I went back to pick it up I noticed it was a blend. Not just any blend, but a Syrah (68%) blended with Mourvedre (30%) and Viognier (2%). The very same grape that made a guest appearance in the winner of the "Weirdest Shiraz" award, Angove of week 20. So, it turned me off the weird yoga-skeleton canine until utter desperation of the remaining weeks pushed me to finally pick it off the shelf.
The Wolftrap - South Africa, 2009
"The Wolftrap is a spicy, aromatic, red blend that has been French oak matured. The name is a tribute to the pioneers who in early days of the Cape erected a wolf trap at Bockenhoutskloof. To date, no wolf either real or mystical has been seen in the valley."
So, either this was a kick-ass wolf trap or the pioneers really wasted their time building that stupid thing. Do wolves even live in Africa? (Turns out they do - I found out via the interwebs that the Canis Simensis, aka the Ethiopian wolf, does reside in Africa. Too bad it is extremely endangered, and there are currently only five hundred adult wolves in existence. Way to go pioneers, thanks for the amazing wolf trap. You done good.)
The Shiraz is definitely lost in this one. I wouldn't say it was as weird or "white" as the Angove, but there was just something a touch "off" - especially in the bitter and jarring aftertaste. Now, with that said, my guest-tester and myself polished off the entire bottle. We needed something to wash down that cheese ball! However, please heed my final warning: do NOT consume this wine in conjunction with chocolate. Vile.
The other strange thing was despite its 14.5% alc./vol. content neither of us felt a good buzz after ingesting 1/2 the bottle each.