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  • Zakkie Bester

The beautiful waltz of Shiraz and Cinsault that yields BESTER Family Red

BESTER Family Red is a blend of 60% Cinsault and 40% Shiraz - a fruit-driven wine with an elegant palate, balanced with crisp acidity and subtle wood nuances. Zakkie took inspiration for this particular blend from the famous red wines that hail from the south of France.

"BESTER Family Red is a bit of a love letter to two of my favourite Swartland red varietals. I adore the soft, red berry flavours of a good Cinsault - the bush vine grapes from the Swartland region create exceptional wines. Shiraz is a perfect pairing for the soft, juicy flavours of the Cinsault; it adds a more voluminous mouthfeel, and also bring extra dimensions of spice and pepper to the flavour profile of the blend," Zakkie explains.

While there are many winemakers who prefer to make deep, dark red wines with huge tannin structures, Zakkie's approach is more subtle.

Swartland reds have a very unique tannin structure that, when handled correctly, can leave an almost sweet taste in the mouth. However, this calls for a soft hand. You have to work very gently with the skins of the grapes after pressing; if it's worked too hard you will be left with hard, bitter tannins that will have to be softened with prolonged vat maturation.

"This is why I prefer to use free-run juice from the skins exclusively, and only add a little bit of pressed juice to this blend. I round this off with gentle wood ageing in second- or third-run vats to bring an interesting smokiness and soft coffee flavours to the profile. These are all flavours that I enjoy personally, which is exactly why I make the wine this way," he says.

BESTER Family Red is exceptionally food-friendly, enhancing food flavours without masking them. Enjoy it with creamy pasta dishes, pizza and spicy casseroles. Also good as a glass- and-a-half on its own in front of the fireplace!

Try it now! Place an order for delivery to your door by emailing Zakkie at or calling 082 805 5586.

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