Hello Ridgeback, my old friend
I’ve come to taste your wines again
Because a memory softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the memory that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the taste of your Shiraz
(with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)
Some years back, I went through a long phase of only tasting and drinking red wines. Many a friend at the time asked me what my favourite kind of wine was? – I honestly had no answer.
Then one day out on the Paarl Wine Route, I impulsively popped into Ridgeback Wines. I’d never heard of them before and the doggie name intrigued me. Little did I realise that that visit would answer the question. The wine that lit the globe in my wine memory was the Ridgeback Shiraz (made then by Catherine Marshall), I wish I could remember the vintage…that first taste was to become the cornerstone of my wine drinking pleasure. I was then able to declare that I was a Shiraz/Syrah man and I still am.
I have just had the pleasure of getting together with my old friend, Ridgeback Shiraz, albeit in the form of its 2015 vintage and also some of its other Ridgeback friends: Ridgeback Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Ridgeback Cabernet Franc 2015 and Ridgeback Journey 2015, now made by Toit Wessels.
Tasting the Shiraz was obviously nostalgic for me, not because I was able to recall the finer details of its older vintage, but because the pleasure I got from the 2015 was equal to my first impression. The 2015 showed the peppery, tobacco leaf noted that hooked me in the beginning, I liked their shiraz then, I like it now.
I tried the Ridgeback Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 next. In fact, we enjoyed the wine with our T-bone and veg dinner, the pairing, as one would expect, was a good one, with the dark fruit and herbiness of the Cab complimenting the meat perfectly. I’m not sure which I finished first, but I did pour myself a second glass…
The next Ridgeback wine I tasted was their Cabernet Franc 2015. I found it quite Mediterranean in taste, with its black olive and spicy tones. A wine I would definitely prefer on its own rather than with food.
My Ridgeback tasting journey ended appropriately with their red blend Journey 2015. It is Cab Franc dominated (36%), with Cabernet Sauvignon (28%), Merlot (26%) and Petit Verdot (10%). A really decent Bordeaux blend and worth ageing for a year or two more.
So, Ridgeback my old friend, I’m glad I tasted your wines again. I look forward to enjoying more of your wines again before too long.