- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Goats Do Roam Wine Co., “Goat-Roti,” Western Cape, South Africa, 2003, $18

This South African company makes cleverly labeled red, white and rose wines modeled after French Cotes-du-Rhones. Fresh and fruity, they offer good value, but so do many of the French originals.

One that gives the French a challenge is Goat-Roti, the company’s top-of-the-line red.

Although not as complex as the best Cote-Roti, it displays comparable dark fruit flavors, with peppery spice and a hint of leather — all for about a third of the price of the French model.

Like the northern Rhone original, Goat-Roti is made primarily with syrah (or shiraz) grapes. Small amounts of mourvedre and viognier are added to the blend, giving the wine a faint floral bouquet.

Fermentation takes place in stainless-steel tanks, and although the wine ages for more than a year in oak, none of the barrels is new.

The result is a wine that displays exuberant fruit and spice character, with wood playing a minor, supporting role.

A great partner for braised meat dishes, this wine tastes delicious now. It surely will benefit from a couple of years of cellaring, however — time in which it should settle, mellow and develop subtleties and nuances.

If you drink it sooner, be sure to decant it before filling your glass. The exposure to air will simulate the passage of time. (Imported by Vineyard Brands.)

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