Vintages are not Vineyards.
Not sure how that slogan popped into my head, but I've been saying it for a while. I've always found it highly amusing to read lines like "Parker rates the 2009 Bordeaux vintage on of the greatest of his lifetime". There's clearly a missing asterisk there, as there should not be a wine writer in the world who would seriously claim the vintage more important than who made it, and with what grapes from what vineyard.
As I said in my review of the Cradle of Hills Cab Shiraz, terroir and micro-climates are far more important than most people realise. If 100 wineries have a great year and 10 have a bad year the vintage is a success! The opposite says it's a bad year, but it can be that the minority that year may make truly exceptional wines due to their micro-climates.
If I was buying wine unknown to me in a restaurant, I'd also avoid 2011 from much of SA. But hand on my heart I will tell you my true and honest opinion on this wine;
This 2011 Simpatico to me is better than the 2010 - and will not surprise me if it's better than the 2012. Then again that Roger fellow may in fact be getting even better with age himself, so we will see.
It's not a competition of course, the point I am trying to make is, this is simply brilliant wine and the vintage is largely irrelevant.
It's mulberry and blueberry on the nose but then morphs with incredible complexity in waves, with licorice, mocha, black olives, nutmeg, and the aroma of your lover's left earlobe. That's a decent start, and really it's worth buying this just to sniff it, but you'll not be able to avoid taking a sip, and when you do the thrill up your spine is like your lover decided your own earlobe was worth a nibble. There's witches on the palate, youngish witches too, no warts but garters and stockings (or warlocks if that's to your taste, probably not with stockings, unless Rocky Horror is also your thing), all black and wicked, with dirt, and spices. Wicked, dirty, spicy. Naughty Zoot, you know what she needs. The length is excellent and the balance exquisite. I need a cold shower.
Rating Outstanding++ (oh it will go longer but why wait?)