This will pop your cork

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A quirky red blend from a boutique winery on the West Coast’s Olifants river floodplain near Vredendal is knocking the socks off wine cognoscenti. In fact, wine writer Jono Le Feuvre pronounced the medium-bodied Cape Rock Red’s finish as “softer than a Cliff Richard Christmas album”.

Well-known for their minimal intervention winemaking techniques, father and son winemakers, Willie and Gavin Brand believe in co-fermentation with natural yeasts when it comes to their Syrah-based blends.

Cape Rock Red has 84% Syrah for character; 10% Mourvèdre for depth and spice; and 6% Viognier for freshness that lifts the aromas. The result awakens the palate to unravel quite a gem.

You’ll find plenty happening in your glass with whiffs of ripe red raspberry, plums, violets, aniseed, pepper and other spice aromas that carry through to the taste. The tannins are medium-firm.

With its silky-mouth feel, this red can be enjoyed early. Even so, it should continue to mature gracefully for up to eight years after release. Lovely for sipping in winter or lightly chilled in summer, the lingering finish will have you craving another sip hours after your glass runs dry.

A blast with lamb or game, it also pairs well with charcuterie and firm cheeses.

Cape Rock Red is hard to find, but when you do, buy a few. Better yet, order directly from Desireé: 027 2132567; caperockwines@gmail.com.