MAN Vintners Pinotage

We have tasted and enjoyed (but not reviewed) earlier vintages of this South African Pinotage, so we had high hopes for the 2010. Unfortunately, it falls a bit short. Though the smokey, almost rustic, flavor so typical of Pinotage is on full display, the fruit tastes stewed—dangerously approaching sweetness. It is, nevertheless, a drinkable wine at a decent price. And it’s true to the variety. It deserves a star.

Goats do Roam Red Wine

The Goats do Roam moniker is either a clever play on the fabled French wine region, or a corny one whose significance will be lost on most of its target consumers. We approached it with an open mind. The initial nose is a bit sour, almost cheesy. Then leather, toasted (nearly burnt) oak, and white pepper. There’s a not-quite-ripe blueberry core. The nose is marginal, but the palate sinks this one. It’s sour and hot, with clunky tannins and a sweet finish. These are flaws we would accept in a $3 or $4 wine, but not a $7 one. This Rhône-style blend consists mostly of Syrah, with smaller amounts of Cinsault, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Carignan.