Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: Goats Do What? Goats Do Roam (Red)

Another entry in my "I want to try new wine regions outside of California" series....

I love a winemaker who doesn't take him or herself too seriously. A good giggle can go a long way in making the day much better sometimes. The wine Goats Do Roam (a play on the very serious Cotes-du-Rhone French wines) made me giggle so I bought some. (There are times when I just know I am a marketer's dream consumer.)

Goats Do Roam Red (2011, South Africa, 14%) comes from the western cape of South Africa. It is a dizzying blend of 6 different reds: Syrah 61%, Cinsaut 16%, Mourvèdre 12%, Grenache 5%, Carignan 4% and Petite Syrah 2%. Whew! That's a whole bunch of grapes to get into one bottle. I really wasn't sure what to expect with this big a mix, but I'm not afraid of goats. Spiders, yes. Goats, bring 'em. (They're kind of cute in a bearded, curved horn way.)

The bouquet on this wine was of very ripe cherries, some dark fruit and mellow oak. The taste was VERY tart cherries and plums. The oakey flavor sat warmly on the edges of the fruit taste, and there was a definite smokey flavor above it all. It finished with some very loud tannins. (I prefer tannins that aren't able to dry a load of laundry in my mouth. It was juuuust a bit drying.)

It was sort of hard to get a handle on this one. I had to really let it breathe for quite a while, because after my first initial whiff and sip, I would have said that there was a bacon-y flavor to it all. And not in a particularly good way either. So I let it decant for over an hour (do you have any idea how hard it is to pour wine and ignore it for that long, at least in my little world?) and came back to it. It got better, but I can't say it got great.

I guess I was expecting a bit more out of a wine with so many different varietals in it. Or at least I was expecting more flavor and taste before that drying finish. Would I buy it again? Probably not. But, I will be heading out to try some of their white wines, for which South Africa is becoming more and more famous for.

The winery's famous
 goat tower.
Now, back to the giggles. While I can't say I loved this red, I have a profound liking for any company that names their wines, among other things, Goat Door, Goatfather and....wait for it: Bored Doe. And in case you are wondering, yes, a certain French wine took great offense when these wines first went on the market here in the US. The resulting lawsuit publicity sold lots and lots of bottles, and eventually, Goats Do Roam was the number one selling South African wine here. Hee hee. (For the record, the company swears on its website that one day, the owner's son left the winery's goat gate open and a bunch of goats wandered into the vineyards and well, snacked like goats snack. Goats DID roam.)

I also have a very profound respect for the man who founded The Goats Do Roam Wine Company.  Charles Back also founded Fairview Wines and  Fairvalley, one of the most successful Black-run wine labels in that country. And in South Africa, THAT kind of thinking goes a much longer way than a little giggle.


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Winey side note: If you want to read about Charles Back, the founder of Goats Do Roam, Fairview and Fairvalley, he is one of the featured South African winemakers in Natalie MacLean's book Unquenchable. You can also find out what it's like to milk a goat. You might as well read about goat milking there, because you won't be reading about it on this blog anytime soon. :) Pin It

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