Elegant and fruity winter reds

Cederberg Shiraz 2009, Cederberg
Cederberg Shiraz 2009, Cederberg
The 57 per cent proof HMS Victory  Navy Strength gin by Isle of Wight Distillery

The great gin renaissance

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Apparently, spring is on the way – but just before it arrives here are a couple of winter reds that I enjoyed with some hearty food over the weekend.

Shiraz has taken a little while to take hold in South Africa, but with a Mediterranean climate it may well be that this is the red grape that is best suited to the region. In the main we’re not talking about big, bold Barossa-style shiraz here. Many wines are labelled as syrah, the name the grape variety is known by in France, indicating a more elegant but fruit-driven style. DMZ Syrah 2009, Stellenbosch (Majestic £9.99, but £7.99 if you buy two bottles) is just such a wine, full of ripe, dark fruits with spices including white pepper and a hint of liquorice.

Top tipple

Cederberg Shiraz 2009, Cederberg

Made in partnership with Waitrose at the Cederberg estate, this is slightly bigger in style with black fruits and black pepper and a longish, smooth finish.

Waitrose – on offer at £6.99, from £7.99