What a beautiful thing, to have so much passion in life. Such is the case for three business partners who ventured into the wonderful world of wines. MAN Vintners out of the renowned viticultural area of Stellenbosch, South Africa is a story of three guys who have a passion for their loved ones and of course wines. MAN is the acronym for Marie, Anette and Nicky. These are the names of the wives of Jose Conde, Tyrrell Myburgh and Phillip Myburgh. Tyrrell is the winemaker. His older brother and founding partner is Phillip. Jose Conde, who spent countless years in the hustle bustle of New York and Tokyo, realized that his passion was wines and living a quiet peaceful life in a rural setting. As director of MAN Vintners, Jose got just what he wanted, wines and a slower paced life in rural South Africa. Every wine has a definite story behind it and this story of love and passion is a true vintners dream.
South Africa is considered a "new world" wine producing country. Wine making laws in terms of location and percentage of certain grapes used in South African wines are not as rigorous as the European appellation laws. The vibrant wine making country of South Africa, really reflects this modern wine making philosophy and so does the MAN Vintners spirit in making a fine Stellenbosch Shiraz.
Stellenbosch South Africa is located on the west side of the cape very near to the well known city of Cape Town. The weather is Mediterranean in style and very ideal with hot summers and cool rainy winters. Stellenbosch is a fairly sheltered place due to the fact that it is in a valley surrounded by mountains. The terroir consists of dark soil and clay.
At first sight, the 2009 MAN Vintners Shiraz has a vivid deep purple color which fades into a ruby rim. There are no visible signs of sediment. It is a clear, unfaulty wine, with beautiful long legs showing signs of a higher alcohol content.
On the nose, the 2009 MAN Vintners Shiraz has no signs of corkage or taint. The initial intensity, like many of the usual high alcohol Shiraz wines, is borderline high. As one swirls and aerates the wine, the intensity diminishes opening up into a very pleasant bouquet.
On the palate, this wine is off dry with a medium bodied mouthfeel and a medium high alcohol level. The fruit characteristics of this wine are of stewed plums, cherries, and blueberries. There is also a presence of fairly new wood with a hint of violet flowers. The minerality of Stellenbosch is also very present with slate and dark soil. The 2009 MAN Vintners Shiraz is considered to be a well balanced wine meaning that tannins, fruit characteristics and acidity are all predominant in an equally balanced amount. The finish on this wine is of a medium plus with beautiful lingering jammy fruit.
This is a very food friendly wine due to the tannins, fruit, and acidity. My pairing suggestion would be a smoked guava barbecue rack of lamb or grilled t bone steak. At an average retail price of $7.99 it is a great deal for a wine made with so much passion and love. The 2009 MAN Vintners Shiraz can be found at Big Daddy's liquors...