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On my last visit to my parents they gave me an inexpensive bottle of Arniston Bay red 2004 to try. This a new breed of wine from South African grown Shiraz Merlot grapes. It normally retails for under £5.00.
The wine comes in a 75cl dark bottle (see picture), and for exercise and duty reasons claims to be 14.0% proof by vol. It is imported by Omnia wines UK. Labaling for a change is kept minimal, the front strip gives date , place, wine & name with a small picture of a lighthouse. The back information on the area of production (South African Western Cape) including its scenery an attraction for tourists. And a map. The stopper is plastic.
The wine contains sulphites. More about the company on their website at www.omniawines.co.uk.
On opening the wine has a strong aroma, a little acidic in flavour. As mentioned on the label, it is a full bodied wine with subtle black current, pepper, coffee, chocolate, soft and round quite strong.
The wine has a strong full bodied flavour a little acidic for the first taste, this improves to a fuller bodied flavour a bit later. By the second glass the wine begins to taste a lot sweeter and less acidic. Some of the flavours on the back of the bottle become evident. By the 3rd glass I noted just how strong the wine is at 14%. I definately noticed the chocolate and black current flavour. The second glass I had with a light ham salad, the peppery flavours became more evident with the meat. I decided to save some of the wine until the next day. UPDATE to follow.
For under £5 it is not an expensive bottle, South African wine is becoming more fashionable amongst the new left (or so rumour has it). Mine was a little to acidic, but still suitable for a table wine. They also sell this brand in white. The smaller label adds a little novelty to the bottle (the information I think adds to the quality of the wine). I have seen this brand in most high street supermarkets. It is strong to careful with use. The 3rd glass was un necessary last night. So powerful enough to serve to guests on dull leisure activities. The second day taste experience was rather similar, one small glass was strong enough to say no the second before my evening meal.
Pictures of Arniston Bay Dual Varietals Shiraz Merlot
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