Hugh Hamilton Black Ops Shiraz Saperavi 2020


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Black Ops – a covert operation that may employ measures not generally authorised  – sounds about right for a blend of Shiraz with one of the oldest wine grapes in the world, Georgia’s Saperavi. Of course, it might also refer to the colour of the blended finished Black Ops wine, a deep, deep purple-black. Saperavi is not only high in colour but acidity and tannin! It’s got the lot, including plenty of flavour.

A heady scent rises from the glass, a mix of camphor-sandalwood, earth, black plums, aniseed and game. This is no light-weight wine. It’s an exotic, intoxicating mix of fruit and savoury flavours, of smart oak and, above all, it just glides across the mouth. Those tannins are doing a terrific job. With just 30% Saperavi, it’s enough to bring everything we want from the grape but not too much. Saperavi can be quite over-powering in its youth, but by teaming up with Shiraz it’s found a sympathetic friend. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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