Two great wines with dinner: Zidarich Malvasia and Jamsheed Garden Gully Syrah

Had Ryan Mostert and Samantha Suddons over for dinner on Thursday night. They are a young couple working at one of South Africa’s most exciting wineries, Reyneke, and so we opened a lot of nice bottles. 11 in all, between four of us. (But we’re lightweights, and we didn’t drink all of them to the bottom.)

Two wines stood out in particular for me, out of a very strong line-up. They are the bottles that were both drained first.

Jamsheed Garden Gully Syrah 2011 Great Western, Australia
14.5% alcohol. From vines planted in the 19th century, and made with a high proportion of whole bunches in the fermentation. Perfumed, aromatic nose of fresh cherry and berry fruit with lovely floral overtones, and also some spice and ginger notes. The palate shows fresh, slightly peppery fruit with silky texture and lovely purity. It’s ripe yet fresh with subtle hints of green in the background. Vivid, vital and complex, a wine of real interest. 95/100 (UK agent Indigo Wines)

Zidarich Malvasia 2006 Carso, Friuli, Italy
13.5% alcohol. An orange wine – a white wine fermented on skins. But this is a particularly elegant example. Lovely pure, focused citrus, peach and melon fruit. Lively and elegant with just a bit of grip and amazing peach stone texture. Beguiling and complex. 94/100 (UK agent Les Caves de Pyrene)

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