Wines with cocoa character
Love and marriage, horse and carriage — if you don’t put much stock in this saying you’ve clearly never enjoyed chocolate and red wine in the same mouthful. How these wines acquire a cocoa character I don’t know — but they’re magic.
Darling Cellars Chocoholic Pinotage 2014
If sweet, spice-driven, berry-soaked red wines are your ultimate indulgence, then you may want to look away now, because this wine could cast a spell on you. Pinotage is a South African grape bred from pinot noir and cinsault back in 1925, and Darling is a wine region on the western cape where dry-farmed, bush vines thrive. Think a liquid version of black forest gateau and you're getting close. Seductive.
Thorn-Clarke Sandpiper Barossa Shiraz 2012
This wine has won so many medals, trophies and five-star ratings that someone's bound to say, "Sandpiper, why can't you just step aside and give someone else a go please?" But it won't be me. I love the lick of leather, black berryfruit, chocolate and coffee characters in this Barossa bonza, which, when combined with sweet smoke, dried herb and pepper flavours, creates a warming, juicy, dangerously drinkable wine.
Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Located in the Horse Heaven Hills region of eastern Washington state, alongside the Columbia River, Columbia Crest is a winery that's only recently appeared on my radar.
Lovers of cabernets that ooze cocoa, prunes, sweet leather and liquorice-laden lusciousness will possibly go ga-ga over this. The mouthfeel has a slight medicinal complexity that adds interest on the finish of this super-smooth sip.
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