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Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Syrah – A Heady Red

A ripe rich South African wine, Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Syrah 2013 is surprisingly fresh and beautifully balanced making it as good a summer wine as it is a favorite at our winter table.

Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Syrah hails from the Jonkershoek Valley near Stellenbosch on the western coast of South Africa. A light nose of blackberry jam, as it opens it begins to reveal lilac, plumb and oak. It’s full mouth smacks of minerality; highlighting graphite, fleshy cherry, smoke and hints of anise. Balanced and smooth, tannins are well under control giving it a dry finish and long mouth-linger, akin to Pinot Noir.

Pairing this wine I would lean towards fatty, marbled meats: spare ribs, a well marbled porterhouse, Kobé beef or crispy pork. But keep to the simpler dishes, nothing too spicy or complex (like a curry) or I fear you would overpower a wine that’s long on character and flavour. Instead I would suggest you underscore it’s simple, pure style.

Retailing at my local wine merchant for around $22 (CAD), I would group it in the ‘value wines’ category, due to it’s high quality and affordability. Don’t get me wrong, at twenty-two bucks I’m not dashing out for it every day, but as a dinner party wine it’s much easier on the wallet than wines of lesser quality, at a higher price point. The Wine Spectator scored the Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Syrah 2013 at 92/100, I’m not far off of that assessment, rating it 91/100 on the Gypsy Scorecard.

If this wine appeals try the Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Field Blend as well. A bright assemblage of Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho, it’s a fruit forward white with tremendous pairing possibilities for late summer and autumn.

“Beer is made by men, wine by God.” – Martin Luther

Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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