Wine News from Ethiopia

Tweeted a month or so ago about a new project set up by French wine giant Castel in Ethiopia – the story is HERE.

Among the responses was one from Debbie Worton, formerly of Majestic and currently in Ethiopia doing VSO, saying that she’d keep an eye out for the wines, albeit a sceptical one: ‘You might be surprised. I might be surprised!

Well, she’s tracked them down – here’s her verdict…

Simon Woods, just to let you know that I should have more faith. I have now had 3 bottles of Castel’s new Rift Valley Syrah from ETHIOPIA and it really is very good. Considering it is the first vintage from a very new vineyard, it is surprisingly attractive. Great plummy fruit, a nice slick of spiciness and quite lengthy. Just what you would expect. Bodes well for subsequent vintages. The Chardonnay grapes need a bit more maturity to establish the style fully but there was a lovely almondy twist to this Chablis-esque Chard. Not cheap…though the price I paid varied from cheap to extortionate (duty free was a rip-off $25 but then Addis Ababa’s Bole airport is hugely expensive for everything). Worth £10 of my money. If you see it give it whirl.

Sounds encouraging, you could say they come Haile recommended…

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