The Finlayson Family
The Finlayson family is synonymous with modern era winemaking in the Cape region for 3 generations. Dr Maurice Finlayson, a pathologist originally from Inverness in Scotland started the family wine business at Hartenberg farm in Stellenbosch. David qualified as a winemaker at Elsenburg Agricultural college in Stellenbosch as Dux student and then proceeded to travel the world gaining winemaking experience at first in Australia (Peter Lehmann Wines) and then in France at the world renowned Chateau Margaux. It was decided to rename the farm and wines to Edgebaston as this was the area in England that his mother was born and raised in.
2016 Edgebaston The Pepper Pot Red Blend
Perfect name for this wine is the Pepper Pot as there is a POT-Pourri Of Grapes in this bottle with the bulk of it being Syrah. How Tannat got in there don’t ask me but why not? Add it to the Pot! .. The wine is comprised of 60% Syrah 14% Carignan, 11% Tannat, 7% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault and 3% Grenache. Talk about a Red Blend! Made from grown grapes in the Stellenbosch and Paarl regions, this wine is created to show the fresh, fruity and spice driven flavors of these varietals. The Soil type is typical of that area Malmesbury Shale on top deep red clay. Lots of rocky stones etc created by tropical events way back to thousands of years ago. All the grapes are hand picked. The wine ferments in Stainless steel and then spends some time in large oak barrels for aging but nothing that would mask the freshness of the young fruit. Let’s review
Everything from the color, aromas and the palate of this blend all display the freshness and youthfulness of this wine. Nice deep dark purple color. Medium bodied with 14% ABV, The aromas fit the name, a basket full of brambly berries , cranberry nose and lots of spice box and about 3-6 turns of your black peppercorn mill. Good for the sinuses. I also picked up whiffs of Orange Zest. On the plate there is linear acidity all the way through, pushing the juicy flavors of this cranberry/orange coulis with an array of peppercorns all the way to a pleasant finish and of course one more time using the word SPICE. I am on the fence with this wine. I can’t deduct points for being exactly what the package says…The Pepper Pot. It’s a well made handcrafted fruit driven wine, that really shows off mostly South African Syrah and a seriously good wine for pizza (Hold The Pepperoni or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes), Beef Carpaccio , or a nice Arugula Salad. I would not pair this with anything spicy…it would be overkill. Second day the wine aerated out and was more pleasant. This wine is not for every palate just like a grassy and grapefruit New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is not for every palate. On the other hand I know off the top of my head 20 customers who ask me for juicy red berries and peppery spice in their wines and this would be the perfect wine for them. As a reviewer I am going to score this 88 out 100 and at $14.99 is a solid buy if this is your palate.
I am a bigger fan of this family’s Berry Box wine with the same juicy fruit with less spice but that is a personal taste. I think many people will have a lot of fun with this wine especially try it with a non spicy pizza. Just a plain Margherita would be killer with this. Most importantly it shows the value and quality of third generation family made wines coming out of South Africa. So much value in the under $20 price point and handcrafted juice. Try it next time you want to Spice Things Up In your Wine Glass!
Grape-fully yours, Larry
The Vineyards Of Edgebaston