So the wine for tonight is not expensive but is relatively rare in this part of the world – it’s a Goats Do Roam White 2008. It’s produced by Fairview in the general vicinity of Paarl in South Africa, less than an hour from Capetown. I first heard of their brand before I knew anything at all about wine, but even then I got the joke.
This is an entry level wine, but a good value for the price. What makes it special for me is the scarcity of South African wines around here, combined with the nostalgia of having been to their cellar door and having seen the goat tower (and goats) in person whilst on honeymoon some years ago. As you can see from the tasting notes on their website it’s an uncommon blend, and I really wish I could pick out the Crouchen Blanc but I don’t think I’ve ever had that as a straight varietal (unless one of those old bottles of Clare Riesling wasn’t actually Riesling). The blend is: Viognier 64%, Crouchen Blanc 18%, Chenin Blanc 13%, Pinot Gris 45, Muscat 1%.
Also, this bottle sports the classic label, which in some ways perhaps mimics French labels of the appropriate area. There is a new goat logo, based on a Mesopotamian image, that I think they have been using in some markets since 2009. I don’t think the new label is bad, but I do enjoy the classic.
I’m tasting it now, and while it might have been better two or three years ago, it did not disappoint. Here’s my student grade tasting note.
Bright and clear, medium-minus intensity of a lemon-green colour with thick, slow legs when given a swirl.
Clean, with medium-plus intensity, and developing. Aromas of pear, peach, almond, and some baked apple and custard.
Dry to off-dry, with medium-plus acidity, medium alcohol, medium-plus body, and medium-plus flavour intensity. Flavours present include pear, lime, stone fruit, honey, almond, and some melon. The finish is medium but clean and crisp.
The quality is good – solid acidity and flavour intensity (both medium-plus) give it a balanced intensity, and while the nose and palate weren’t overwhelmingly complex there was enough there if you took the time to look for it. The length could have been better, and I think there would likely have been more crispness had I enjoy this at its peak, but it was a good wine and a solid performer for its price.
I would not have been able to guess the variety had I been served it blind, especially given I am unfamiliar with Crouchen Blanc which makes up the second largest component. I might have put it in the New World given the how forward the fruit was, even after a few years, but I would not have been able to have been more specific than that.
It was under $10.00 which I would not have guessed (I would have thought more expensive), and 3 years old which I might have.
Readiness to drink – slightly past its prime, but not suffering overwhelmingly.