Some seriously smoking South African stuff: Boschendal "The Pavillion" Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

This is for Alex, whom I am a fan of. Alex works at ArtJava downtown, my regular coffee stop.

Alex, last name St-Laurent, was trained by Anthony Benda, who is currently the third-ranked barista in the country (he placed as a runner-up in a strong debut performance at the Canadian Barista Championships last fall).

These are big shoes for Alex to fill no doubt, but with his keen aptitude no one doubts he could do it. One day at ArtJava, Alex surprised me with his interest in wine. He approached me for advice on how he could find and drink more of the red wines that he most enjoys. He already knew most of what he needed to know -- that he likes a style of red wine with a smoky flavour profile -- and he even knew that Syrah would be the varietal that would most likely offer him this.

All that was left for me to do was consult my back pages to see what's a good deal on wines like these and not be too far from a roughly $20 to $30 price range he set for himself.

It's practically do-it-yourself blogging. But Alex is a smart guy, so what do you expect?

Links to original reviews feature clickable images that navigate directly to the SAQ online catalog, where you can check the supply of the wine and which stores near you stock it.

And last but definitely not least, Boschendal "The Pavillion" Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Coastal Region 2005:

  • The paradigm of Syrah smoke from South Africa, done up with notes of petrol and wood that give it a blue cheese tone typical of many New World wines; but here it is exceptional for its smart balance, extraction of fruit and stunning texture: Boschendal "The Pavillion" Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Coastal Region 2005 (The bargain of the bunch at $16 -- but I have not yet tasted the 2006 vintage that is rapidly replacing the 2005s.)

Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, South Africa. 14%.

Update: I pointed to a picture of the Pavillion bottle (at top) which I found on the web after SAQ.com, who stocks it within the province, ran no image of it in their catalog. It's laziness of me for not taking a photo of the bottle myself. But it's sheer stupidity I didn't better explore the site that the picture came from.

That site is EWine.co.za -- not to be confused with EWineCentral.com -- and it is apparently more than a your typical online wine vendor. They house a lot of good content on the South African wineries and winemakers, including audio media, like the sound file of an interview with Boschendal vintner JC Bekker, all placed nicely on a a profile page devoted to Boschendal. Louis Ferreira, who runs the Ewine.co.za site, provides important insight and authority -- especially for anyone like me who really has little exposure to the breadth of today South African wines.


Joe said...

Loved this wine. Have not yet had the '06.

Marcus said...

I did not realize you ever had tasted this, what with the 05s in limited amounts flying off shelves, so this is a really cool link. Thanks for sending it! (I actually remember reading it but forgot and then didn't become acquainted with this wine until late last year -- it was pretty much too late for my Top 5 of the year but it clearly could've been in the top under twenty, no doubt!)

You call it meaty which I can see -- there's definitely a lot of iron. And you are right about the BBQ and all the rest though I know some people who think it's overwhelming, and with some food, it can throw you off.

I've got myself three bottles left to last me through the next grilling season.

Joe said...

Hi Marcus - given its more New World style I wouldn't have pegged it for one you would go crazy for, but glad you liked it. This was my cheapie go-to before I started on my $12 adventure. I find wines like this overwhelming for many meals, but stand up well to a simply-prepared steak - actually, in this case I would go for grilled lamb (yes, I do pair my food to the wine I want to drink!)

Kelly said...

My tip for Alex is the Heartland Shiraz. It's peaty, almost like a single malt.

Marcus said...

Hey Joe, I do that too.

Thanks Kelly -- Alex is in good hands. What's your dirty Ontario secret though? I must know what you and Annie are up to!

Marcus said...


I had the chance to sample the 06 vintage of the Pavillion over the weekend. Similar, perhaps less extracted, but it was at a party -- not the best venue to write a review of it. Still cheaply priced though.

Kelly said...

OH hey! I'll let you in on the secret.

Annie and I were recruited to be the new wine critics for Chatelaine magazine. Yes, THAT Chatelaine. We are so thrilled.

I'm not going to mention it on our site until mid-April, just before our first column appears in the May issue.

Neat, eh?