From MAN vineyards the folks that brought us a solid selection of well made and easy to drink value wines, comes Tormentoso Mourvedre Paarl 2012.  Produced in the Western Cape of South Africa, this wine gets its name from old, tormented vines but also from the original Portuguese name for The Cape of Good Hope (Cabo di Tormentoso) which originally was called Cape of Storms for obvious reasons.  The Portuguese realized early on that this was bad press so they renamed it to make it sound more attractive.

To add insult to injury, the Cape is also where the legend of the Flying Dutchman began. This tale of a cursed Captain and ghost ship has haunted seafarers since the 1600’s.  Tormentoso indeed!

Generally, South Africa is not what you think of when Mourvedre is mentioned unless it is used somewhat sparingly in a blend. Even then, we think more of Spain or France where the black skinned grape is often blended with Grenache and Syrah.  In the Tormentoso, however, Mourvedre makes up 85% of the wine with 15% Syrah added for depth and extra spice.  For those who might find Mourvedres somewhat caustic, they will find the Tormentoso more approachable. With a dark, oxblood color, this wine has many layers of intriguing aromas and flavors including cranberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit with herb, and spice notes of clove and licorice. The texture is medium bodied with smooth and velvety mouth feel. Tannins add complexity but do not overwhelm. Enjoy with red meat dishes, pasta, or hard cheeses. It goes particularly well with extra-sharp cheddar from Vermont.