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Durif may not be anywhere near as well known as, say, Shiraz, but in many ways it’s the epitome of an easy drinking New World red, producing deeply coloured wines with soft tannins and impressive richness of fruit. It was first grown by the French in the 1880s, but its reputation was established in Australia much more recently and now, thanks to Charles Back, South Africa too has entered the arena. Charles’ grandfather, a butcher from Lithuania, founded the estate in 1916, and today it is one of the Cape’s finest. Generous ageing in French and American casks has added seductive layers of spicy oak to the wine’s rich blackberry flavour. Smooth and full bodied, Durif makes an elegant partner to lamb shanks or game such as rabbit or venison.


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