Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Winecology: Guardian Peak - Frontier - Namaqualand, South Africa - 2002

The sixth edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday is hosted by Cook Sister - a native of South Africa. Accordingly, her theme is South African reds. Not too long ago I had an outstanding experience with a South African syrah, so I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this blend from Guardian Peak.

Guardian Peak is the second label of the historic and well respected Rust en Vrede Wine Estate, which consistently puts out well acclaimed wines. Their Guardian Peak label proudly embraces the natural environment of South Africa. In particular the winery seeks to protect and preserve the neighboring Kalahari desert, or Kalahari lion. The lion is proudly featured on Guardian Peak's label.

The Frontier offering is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Shiraz and 15% Merlot. In the glass it has dark purple, inky colors that fade to the rim. Initially the nose was alcoholic, but that quickly blows off and aromas of dark black fruit and tar develop. The palette features ripe dark fruits layered with smoke, dark chocolate and even some cigar box. The finish has length, but is slightly bitter. While the flavors of this wine were complex and rich, I was distracted by its lack of balance. The full flavored profile wasn't supported with the necessary structure and tannin. It was kind of like having a beautifully fabricated Armani suit that was several sizes to big. Ultimately, things just didn't fit.

I'd pass on this one in the future.

Rating - 7.0 out of 10
Price - $11