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Award winning Alto Shiraz 2012 now available in London

| Wine and liquor

Alto Shiraz 2012, flagship in the internationally acclaimed red wine portfolio of South Africa’s iconic oldest red wine estate, was awarded Gold at the prestigious The Drinks Business Global Syrah Masters competition (Shiraz is the New World regions’ name for Syrah).

The Global Masters Awards is a series of single varietal tastings of international wines judged blind by Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior wine buyers.

To achieve Gold at this rigorous international competition, is one of the top accolades a winemaker can achieve – an honour that crowns retired Alto Estate winemaker Schalk van der Westhuizen’s passionate pursuit of excellence.

Ruby red at an opaque core that pales to garnet around the edges, Alto Shiraz 2012 reveals aromas of blackcurrant, cassis and prunes with spicy undertones and hints of smoke. On the palate, it is full-bodied with spicy prune and plum flavours, giving way to a creamy mouth-feel with a good tannic backbone, velvety texture and gently waning aftertaste. This wine is on the dark fruit style of Shiraz and reflects a judicious use of wood, a combination of French and American oak.

Alto Estate’s sound reputation for world-class reds can be ascribed to its excellent terroir and the passion of its winemakers. Located in the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin district and situated on the high granite slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, this area is known as the Golden Triangle. In summer, when the vines are drenched in sunshine, the late-afternoon sea breezes cool the grapes, lengthening the ripening period and preserving the complex flavours of the noble varietals. Dryland conditions ensure that the vines are shy bearing, resulting in quality grapes and, consequently, quality wines.

Alto Shiraz is born from vineyards planted in these deep, red, decomposed granite and clay soils on a north-westerly slope, giving low yields of dense and concentrated berries. The grapes were harvested by hand, the wine fermented dry after destalking and crushing, and then aged in wood for 18 months, using a combination of first, second and third-fill French (40%) and American (60%) oak barrels.

Alto Shiraz is only made and released in exceptional years. Available vintages, besides the award-winning Shiraz 2012, are 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

Alto Shiraz 2012 complements Mediterranean dishes such as spicy lamb and meat casseroles, roasts, oxtail and the traditional South African braai (barbeque). This rich, robust fruit-forward big red wine, supported by a silky texture of oaky vanilla tannins, is the perfect partner for big flavours of juicy beef steak, lamb, venison and short ribs, even pork chops with plum sauce (avoid acidic food).

Alto Shiraz is only one of Alto Estate’s wines now available at The Savanna shops at major train stations in London. Also look out for the Alto Rouge blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, M.P.H.S. and the Alto Fine Old Vintage next time you pass The Savanna.

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