An excellent representation of South African wine. The exotic blend of native grape Pinotage (pee-noh-tahj, a rustic, often smoky and chocolate-y grape) plus smooth Cabernet and expressive Syrah make for a 2009 WARWICK Three Cape Ladies that is as jaunty, lively and danceable as the lovely music of Soweto. As joyful as the rush of blackcurrant flavor is on the palate, there is a spiciness and serious heft beneath the surface. A tension, perhaps, appropriate for the modern day South Africa that is still working out the kinks as it emerges from the pain of an old political system. Currently in its 16th vintage, this is not a wine that’s easy to pin down—indestructible and long-lived but also combustible and unpredictable. It is South Africa itself. –J.M.
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