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Rickety Bridge Shiraz 2017

As many visitors to South Africa have, I was tempted into the long driveway into Rickey Bridge on the approach to Franschhoek many years ago. Having met with the winemaker at the time Anton Grobler and the English owner, Duncan Spence, a founder of a certain well known greetings card company, lunch on the terrace was delicious and accompanied by an impressive array of wines from the estate. That was nearly a decade ago and I’m pleased to say their wines have never disappointed since.

On the red front, for us at Hard to Find Wines, the unequivocal top seller has always been their Shiraz. Unfortunately in our last shipment a large proportion of Rickety’s highly rated Shiraz had succumbed to plenty of label damage due to a problem with their boxes being too small for the bottles. This has meant as many of you may have found, differing degrees of damage to the Shiraz labels of the 2017 vintage. With the adage of you can’t drink the label I popped one of the worst offenders in my bag and decided to revisit for an up to date taste test.

At 7 years old one might expect a mid level Franschhoek Shiraz to be starting to struggle, I can happily confirm this is not the case. The nose still offers a gentle perfumed fragrance of spicy raspberry. The first impression on the palate is of a wine that is balanced, with acidity and refined tannins coming together beautifully. With age the fruit has lost nothing of its veracity with plenty of raspberry, moreno cherry and succulent end of dark brambly fruits. The oak is now very much disguised and just giving the slightest hint of vanilla towards the end. This is not a particularly complex wine, but without question one with an undeniable kerb appeal. It drinks easily and oozes the quality it has undeniably had from its first inception.

As much as their are wines that can outshine this in all sorts of ways, I defy anyone to open a bottle and not enjoy it immensely, and for the price, well let’s leave it at wow.

MD 93/100

Platter 4*