I organised a tasting last month for some folks who wanted a selection of "interesting" wines, rather than any regional or grape theme. We had a great discussion about wine in general, and afterwards one of them sent me a bottle from a producer I haven't tried. So I tried it, purely for the purpose of assessing the wine, of course, no actual hedonistic drinking involved.

The Bradgate Syrah 2007 is a densely purple wine, with the utterly characteristic South African nose of rubbery smoke - oh how I love it. Of course you can't say that when you are selling a wine, so let me add that it's sweetly fruity (plums, I think), a little savoury - like soy - and there's a touch of vanilla structure from the oak barrels.

On the palate it's rich and fairly sweet, again very South African, with smokey notes, a little herbal tobacco, and a touch of chocolate. It has a nicely drying finish, where the fine-grained tannins come through. Altogether good to excellent, 3-4, and by a happy coincidence, soon to be available from Oddbins.

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