I'm still not keeping up on writing these reviews, but maybe in 2011. I've never seen a December that was this busy.
The first South African shiraz I've drunk lately was a 2004 Sincerely produced by Neil Ellis Wines in the western Cape. It ran me $17.
This shiraz has very distinctive smokey notes in it--almost too much so. After the first glass my mouth tasted like I'd smoked a cigarette with my wine (though it's been a while since I've done that). After a day, though, the smokeyness wasn't nearly as pronounced.
It was also less intense than the primarily U.S. syrahs I've been drinking thus far this fall. It's more delicate, more towards a chianti-like body. I liked this wine, though it might be an acquired taste for many people.
The second one was a 2004 Guardian Peak, also from the Western Cape. I think this one ran me in the low teens.
This shiraz wasn't nearly as distinctive as the Sincerely bottle. It was closer to U.S. syrahs, a little sweeter maybe, not particularly outstanding but OK as a wine to serve with dinner. I have a little left that I'll probably use for cooking.