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Richard Kershaw The Smuggler's Boot GSM 2017

Richard Kershaw The Smuggler's Boot GSM 2017

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2017 Vintage


In 2014, The Smuggler’s Boot wines were first released. The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.


IWSC 92 points (2016 Vintage)


When we put this wine together, we were interested in sourcing fruit from areas that, although warm, get coolish nights and in this way produce a wine that has fullness and structure but has that elegant perfumed overlay with some freshness of acidity. At the same time, we looked at areas that can have a savoury nuance which adds intrigue. As such, we sourced grapes from Tulbagh and the Paardeberg in Swartland. Once in the cellar, the main issue was to capture these elements and not try any winemaking tricks. To this end, the wine is essentially unwooded, and the softness achieved through using breathable plastic eggs, and any wood is much older so able to imbue complexity without spicy oak.


Grenache led with Mourvèdre, Syrah and Pinot Noir playing a supporting role, this unwooded GSM blend has a seductive nose, with lifted red cherry notes, a soft approachable entry with a core of fleshy fruit underneath that shows raspberry, lavender, cream honey and rosemary that morphs into pepper and black cherry coulis on the finish with gently rubbing sandy tannins on the back palate.

Richard’s suggestions would include roast leg of lamb; braised lamb shanks with gremolata and polenta; Moroccan tagine; spicy stews or casseroles or even a mild lamb korma (not overly creamy though – Richard personally prefers Rogan Josh better); rosemary and peppercorn spiced lamb chops.

Steak with mushroom sauce or chasseur or pepper sauce (all without cream) works a treat or some of those fabulous sausage dishes Cumberland-esque spicy ones; classic British toad-in-the-hole; calf’s liver with bacon, caramelised onions and sherry; BBQ meats.

For those with a decent butcher, game birds like pheasant work well. On the cheese front Jarlsberg; Cacio di Bosco; Chèvre or a decent aged Gouda cheese (again not too soft). Even French onion soup is a winner.


85% Grenache; 7% Mourvèdre; 4% Syrah, Pinot Noir 4%.