Best buys | Manor House Fairtrade Shiraz Mourvedre 2011

Best buys

Manor House Fairtrade Shiraz Mourvedre 2011

Before you get too excited about this week's wine of the week you’re unlikely to be able to buy it unless you live in South Africa or Sweden but I want to flag it up because it’s the best Fairtrade wine I've tasted.

It’s a blend of Shiraz and Mourvèdre (mainly shiraz) which is made from dry-farmed grapes grown on the Papkuilsfontein wine farm in Darling, which is run by a partnership of Distell, the Black Economic Empowerment Company and a community trust and made by the Nederburg winemaking team.

It’s a beautifully structured full-bodied red with lovely ripe fruit and smoothly integrated tannins, impressively presented in an expensive (but not ludicrously heavy) bottle - a serious, proper, grown-up wine. Decanter awarded the 2010 vintage 5 stars in its 2012 wine awards - you wouldn’t hesitate to pour it for your pickiest of friends.

It sells for 115SAR in South Africa which is not cheap for the local market though at £6.39 at the current rate of exchange ludicrously good value by our standards and for 120 krone or £11.18 in Sweden which, given how expensive their market is, isn't overpriced either.

The message Nederburg is apparently getting from the UK market is that we’re not interested in paying this much for Fairtrade wine. I think that’s a crying shame. Won’t some retailer try and disprove that theory?

In the meantime if you’re in South Africa and visiting the winery I strongly suggest you buy a bottle or two to bring home.

There’s a more detailed analysis of the wine here.

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