Stop Hating On South Africa
South African Wines have limited presence in most wine retail stores or on Restaurant Wine Lists. Someone must have had that one bad Pinotage that smelled like the inside of a Band Aid and spread the word on Social Media that ALL Wines from South Africa Suck? I don’t know what the reason is but they produce some amazing wines at a good Quality to Price Ratio. I can guarantee you if you go shopping even in person to see me, your hallway linen closet will be bigger than the South African Wine Selection. In that Western Coastal Region especially like this wine I am reviewing today that comes from Paarl, they do some amazing artisan wines….and No Band Aid Aromas or Funk.
The Black Pearl Story
Black Pearl Vineyards and Winery is owned by the Nash Family who believe it or not relocated to South Africa in 1995 from New Hampshire. The vineyard is located on the Western Slope of Paarl Mountain. The Terroir is very unique with lots of Shale Soil over Shale Rock. Shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. This Shale Soil developed from the Ancient Deposits of Sand and Clay from the seas… So for my Friend Duane better know as Wine Foot.. Yes OLD SOIL (He hates when I use that) Since the Vineyard sits on the Slope of the Mountain and by Paarl Rock, after a rainstorm the rock resembles a Black Pearl! The blend which they call ORO is named after the belief that the God ORO the king of the heavens gave a Black Pearl as a gift to the ocean.
Good Wine Is Made In The Vineyards
Mary Lou Nash better known as the “Jill of All Trades” At Black Pearl. She is the viticulturist , vineyard manager, tractor driver, chief bottle washer lol and the head winemaker. She prunes, she crops there is no irrigation so if ever there was a wine that is 100% Terroir driven, this blend is it. From bud break, to the daily care of the vines from the grapes she grows to the bottle, this is artisan handcrafted stuff. This woman even was an English Teacher in Japan. From New Hampshire to Paarl, South Africa, Mary Lou is the heart and soul of this winery and the finished product shows.
2015 Black Pearl ORO Blend
The 2015 vintage is a little less percentage on the Cabernet Sauvignon than the 2014. This wine is unfined and unfiltered and is comprised of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Shiraz. It is finely extracted and aged thank goodness in USED OAK Barrels and 15% ABV which you do not taste whatsoever. Lets review.
All Screwcap (no worry about Cork Taint). Look at that color in my Julianna Glassware Abstract Bordeaux Glass. (Find her on Twitter or Instagram by searching Julianna Glassware. Ask For Anna) Dark , dark. dark purple and almost black. A little lighter variation on the edge. The aromas are extremely seducing if you are a fan of Black Forest Cake, Macerated Cherry, Cassis, Blackberry with no signs of Burning my nasal hairs from the 15% ABV which means this was balanced. On the palate , Juicy, Silky, Chocolate Covered Cherry, NOT overdone or a Fruit Bomb or Syrupy just in complete balance from mid-palate to the slight Olive notes and Cracked Black Pepper finish with a nice soft tannic finale. I wouldn’t alter one thing about the final product of this wine. It is literally the most luscious, balanced, handcrafted wine I have had all this year. Wine Enthusiast Rated this 90 Points And I Am going 94 out of 100
If you have been buying these $40 cult wines with 15.5% Alcohol or Giant Zins from Alexander Valley in Sonoma at crazy prices too, you need to experience what that style of wine tastes like when most of the work took place in the Vineyard than wines that are Manipulated by the winemaker in the winery. At $16.99 a wine that will restore your faith in South Africa and also afford you the opportunity to buy multiple bottles because I don’t think you can find a wine that will cover almost every palate, Cab drinkers, Merlot Drinkers, Zinfandel Drinkers, Expensive Red Blend Drinkers at this type of Quality to Price Ratio. Mary Lou Nash, as I understand it, a True Black Pearl Is A Rare Gem and You Are not KING ORO but you have given a GIFT to the WORLD with this amazing wine.