This is my third set of wines from West Cape Howe, a winery in Western Australia. I've previously covered two under the WCH label as well as four in the Zeepaard line. Here are three recent releases from the Great Southern Range, with the Shiraz as part of the Western Australia Range:
2009 West Cape Howe Viognier. $18, 13.5% abv. Aromatic, full of jasmine, lilacs, with firm acidity. Slightly grassy flavor with a bitter, herbal edge that I adore. Since this is dry and tart, I'd say to pair it with something savory and sweet, like roasted pork chops with a molasses glaze. I also think it has the strength to stand up to many of the dishes found on the standard American Thanksgiving table.
2008 West Cape Howe Shiraz. $18, 14% abv. Black cherry and black pepper, touch of spicy cinnamon. Medium tannins and a decent amount of fruit without going overboard. A good all-around Shiraz that should work well with lamb or a savory roast duck.
2006 West Cape Howe "Book Ends" Cabernet Sauvignon. $18, 14% abv. Deep flavors of plum and cassis, with leather, boysenberry, and tea present as well. Long, tart finish. While this is a great wine right now, it currently benefits from some breathing, and I think will be even better in a few years. My friend Paul and I opened this up over a couple of steaks, as well as the...
2007 West Cape Howe "Two Steps" Shiraz Viognier. $18, 14% abv. Only 5% Viognier, but oh, what a lovely blend. I love these two grapes together, and this was a spectacular wine. Soft cherry aromas with just a hint of floral elements, restrained red cherry flavor with undertones of chocolate and white pepper. Soft tannins and a long, delicious finish. The really great thing about this wine was the balance: every part was in harmony. It's kind of like seeing a movie where every actor was perfectly cast, or listening to a band when every musician is in the zone that night. Moreover, the wine could not be replicated merely by mixing together some of the separate Shiraz and Viognier bottles--I wasn't expecting that trick to work, but tried it anyway. A lot of talented winemaking went into this one. Highly recommended.
These wines were received as samples from The Country Vintner.