Migliarina, Stellenbosch
South Africa revisited part 11

Website: www.migliarina.co.za

Carsten Migliarina studied hotel management and worked as a sommelier for seven years, including a stint at Pont de la Tour in London. For the last ten years he has been consulting in the wine industry, and eight years ago he started his own wine brand, specializing in Shiraz.

'You need to specialize in something,' he says. It's a label only brand in that he doesn't own any vineyards, something he says can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. On the plus side, it means he choose the best parcels and only use fruit he really likes.

Currently Carsten is working with between two to four different growers in Stellenbosch each vintage. His approach is to do as little as possible, although he admits that acidification is needed. He uses cultured yeasts, too, but sometimes allows fermentations to begin on their own first.

All the fruit is handpicked, and he's very particular on sorting. 'We use two sorting tables, and last year I took out half a ton of raisins.' He doesn't work the wines hard, leaving them on their skins for five to eight weeks and ferments quite cool.

75% of the wines are exported, mainly to Europe. 2002 was the first vintage; in 2003 no wine was made because Carsten had no money; 2002 sales paid for the 2004 vintage. 'Every year my wines have improved in quality,' reports Carsten. I'm certainly very impressed by the 2007 Shiraz, which I'd rate as one of South Africa's most interesting.


Migliarina Shiraz 2007 Stellenbosch
14% alcohol. Two years in oak, one third of which was new. Beautifully aromatic: amazing perfume of sweet cherry and plum fruit with some iodine notes. The palate is fresh and elegant with beautiful texture, and notes of cherries and plums. Balanced and elegant, this is quite thrilling. There's real complexity here, as well as mineral and iodine notes. 94/100

Migliarina Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Stellenbosch
This is the first release, with 66% Shiraz and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon. 80% new oak for 12 months. Pure focused nose of blackcurrant, blackberry and dark cherry fruit. Rich yet still fresh, with some plum notes. The palate is fresh with nice dense plummy fruit and substantial tannic structure. Lovely focus and intensity: real potential for further development. 94/100

Part 1, Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards
Part 2, Cape Point Vineyards
Part 3, AA Badenhorst Family Wines
Part 4, Eben Sadie: Sadie Family Wines and Sequillo Cellars
Part 5, Paul Kretzel of Lammershoek
Part 6, Mullineux Family Wines
Part 7, Vondeling
Part 8, Scali
Part 9, Sterhuis
Part 10, Raats
Part 11, Migliarina
Part 12, Charles Back and Fairview
Part 13, Hermit on the Hill
Part 14, Klein Constantia
Part 15, Iona, Elgin
Part 16, Paul Cluver, Elgin
Part 17, Eagles' Nest, Constantia
Part 18, Anthonij Rupert
Part 19, Oak Valley, Elgin
Part 20, Shannon, Elgin

Wines tasted 10/10  
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