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In Bordeaux, different grapes perform at their best in different sub regions and according to vintage, so you rarely see them all together simultaneously. At Spier Estate in South Africa, however, in glorious 2009, perfectly ripe Merlot, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot were all hand harvested in Stellenbosch and Darling. Winemaker Frans Smit then made each into a separate wine, ageing them in French oak prior to the ‘assemblage’. This blending process is an art whereby the wine’s balance and complexity are optimised. With broad plummy Merlot, firm cassis scented Cabernet and the ‘wow’ factor of Malbec and Petit Verdot, Creative Block is thoroughly appealing. Decant and serve with braised lamb shanks or roast beef.


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