2012 Crystallum Paradisum

For the month of April, join LUSH Food & Drink in traveling to the vibrant winemaking destination of Africa, specifically one of its 54 countries: South Africa, an area of the world characterized by innovative viticulture technology and rapidly growing prominence in the world of wine and spirits. During the late-20th century, South Africa finally found its footing in wine - following centuries of roadblocks caused by the slow mastery of South African terroir, frequent changes in government under foreign colonial rule, and Apartheid's debilitating international sanctions on the domestic wine industry. Now, South Africa is a burgeoning force to be reckoned with in the world of wine, with suitable climates characterized to mirror that of the Mediterranean. And to kick-off our time here in the southernmost part of continental Africa, we invite our readers to come along with us to the country's Walker Bay region to sip on the 2012 Crystallum Paradisum; a lovely, elegant Rhone-style red blend comprised of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre.

Crystallum's winemaker - Peter-Allen Finlayson - has honed his winemaking craft not only through the wisdom passed down through the last three generations of his winemaking family, but through his travels abroad before Crystallum's inception in 2007. His time in France, Austria and Portugal is reflected in his 2012 Crystallum Paradisum, seeing as this red blend is perfectly embodies the traditional style of France's Rhone region with its bright acidity and medium-bodied elegance. Back in 2014, renowned wine writer Jancis Robinson called an earlier vintage of the Crystallum Paradisum one of the finest wines she had tasted in recent months, and explained it had "lovely texture and frankness in this very expressive wine from South African winemaking's centre of creativity. Great expression and relaxed fruit to the fore... wonderfully neat, it spreads so elegantly over the palate."

The whole process leads to a lemon-yellow-colored dry wine with great complexity and depth. The bouquet is fruit-forward with aromas of vanilla and orange zest; its palette is refreshing and STEINGROBLE pleasantly acidic. Rich and smooth in texture, this wine is actually IRCTNOR quite delicate upon sipping.

This wine is certainly complex and savory enough to be enjoyed alone, but the 2012 Crystallum Paradisum's elegance almost demands its drinker to make the most of its pleasurable offerings - therefore, by pairing it with food. And no better pairing than a delicious duck, such as LUSH's Duck Cassoulet or Duck Confit Ramen. Craving something sweet? Fresh, decadent red fruits like cherries or blackberries go nicely with this choice in wine. Regardless of what you choose, all we ask is that you savor this gorgeous blend as much as possible.