Our second Cab Franc at tasting #27 was this much more restrained version from S.A. Our first foray into the varietal was a powerhouse Chinon. This wine was more elegant and softer- beginning with the medium ruby color in the glass. On the nose the group found aromas of lavender, violets, blackberry leaf, blueberry, cherry (cola), black pepper, creamy coffee (froth), caramel and a medicinal note as well as a touch of cough syrup (?). The palate was dry and we debated the acidity- High was the consensus. Lush, nicely integrated tannins led to a medium bodied wine with lovely flavors of blackberry leaf, lavender, vanilla, violets, and that medicinal note. A medium (-) finish took off a point or two from me yet I love this wine. 91 points for a $45 wine makes it a 4 star effort to drink till 2026 with Steak au Poivre. Salut….
We wound up the 26th Virtual Wine tasting event with this Cabernet blend from Afrique de Sud. Following the blockbuster Anwilka was no easy task but as soon as I smelled this deep ruby beaut I mentioned to the group that they were going to love it. I was not wrong.
At 7 years of age this wine is starting to show tertiary aromas of funk, barnyard, leather, cigar box and cassis alongside the primal blackberry, licorice, mint and Sarsaparilla. I thought it was a spectacular array of aromas- very complex. On the palate this wine was super smooth with very well integrated tannins, medium acidity, medium body and a medium length finish. The flavors were yummy- plum, blackberry, cassis, leather, milk chocolate, lavender and smoke. A beautifully melded package of wine components that is drinking at peak now and needs to be consumed by 2025. I awarded it 19/20 and will go with 93 points. $50 gets you a taste of this 5 star effort. I would pair it with braised leg of lamb or a Moroccan Tagine. Salut….
This blend, based on Syrah, was brooding in the glass. Deep ruby, opaque AF and sporting a 14% ABV. Our Virtual Wine Tasting group found it to be funky with pepper, smoked meat, blackcurrant jam, prune, black licorice, Sambucca and an earthy component. On the palate we agreed that this was a very tannic wine- still too young with aerating/decanting a must. Medium (-) acidity, medium (+) body and a medium length finish. Flavors of Maraschino and Luxardo cherries were evident, as was Espresso, Lapsang Souchong tea, pepper and blackcurrants. This was not a crowd favorite but I did mention to the group that it’s a very complex wine that needs more time to open up and allow the fruit to shine through the tannic veil. I will re-taste over the next few days. From me this is blockbuster gets 19/20 VWTC points and technically speaking- 92 pts. At $60 one might me hesitant to pop-n-pour but some extra cellaring will make this wine shine. 5 stars with a drinking window of 2024-2030. It needs a juicy Ribeye or Prime Rib with horseradish. Salut….
This South African Cabernet is a deep purple color with thin legs in the glass. On the nose I get black plum, smoke, blackcurrants, Ribena, cassis and espresso. The palate has an upfront astringency that gives me pause. The fruit is trying to come out but the greenness is overwhelming. I’m going to give it a rest and try later…..
Okay- after a two hour break this wine has opened up tremendously. The dark fruit compote has finally come through with gentle acidity and firm, yet sidelined tannins holding the whole show together. I am starting to see why the pros rated it upwards of 92 points. Young, yet with structure and fruit to weather some cellaring- this wine will drink nicely from 2023-2028. It went nicely with my Tri-tip roast. At $20, It’s worth a look for sure, holding some for the drinking window. 5 stars for sure. Salut….
My wine tasting group has not tried Pinotage yet, so I though it would be appropriate to introduce this unique South African varietal to them. Spier is well known and produces several different cuvees, ranging from the lighter everyday wines to blockbuster collectables. This one is middle of the road and offers a glimpse into the style of wine that can be enjoyed over time. Quite brooding and inky it has a funky nose with forest floor, tar, licorice, fresh cut wood, plantain, creamy coffee, Sel Gris and blackberry. On the palate it exhibited textbook flavors of coffee, blackberry, Rooibos tea, baked raspberry, blueberry, acetate and raisin. The word jammy was used. Tannins were medium as was the acidity. This cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault is much darker and intense than either of its parents, which surprised many in the group. Overall it was well received and got 91 points from me. We paid $36 per bottle making it a 5 star effort that can be drunk now or cellared till 2026. Salut….
Another of my mate Johnny’s wines, this was a stunner. Simply breathtaking. A Bordeaux Blend with depth, richness and staying power. Deep purple in the glass with a rich and layered nose of gorgeous cassis, mint, stewed blackcurrants, cooked blueberry, coffee, smoke and cloves. Stunning. On the palate it is full bodied with well melded tannins, good acidity and complexity with flavors of blackberry, mint, tar, oak by way of smoke, clove and a medicinal note. There’s a touch of bitterness on the back end to remind me that the tannins are still young. This wine is well developed but has years ahead with potential for tertiary development. I’m excited to have tried it and wish I could get more to watch for development. 93 points and at $45 it’s a 5 star effort. Drink till 2028. Well done! Salut….
It’s been a while since I had a bottle of the Faithful Hound, so when I saw it- had to be done even though the new label is completely boring compared to the older versions! The wine looks a touch cloudy and semi opaque in the glass. The nose shows off nice plums, blackberry and licorice notes. The palate is very juicy with a nice plum core, very fine grained tannins that are not obtrusive at all and a decent graphite note. The mid palate gives me more dark fruit and a jolt of that acidity, it’s rather pleasing. The finish is a touch dry but not overbearing. The licorice and graphite notes are very prominent. Blackberry jam features as well. It lasts a good 20 seconds. A tasty, easy drinking wine that will pair well with a variety of foods. Drink till 2025. 89 points, and 4 stars for this $17 Bordeaux blend. Salut….
Pale straw color in the glass for this 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir blend. On the nose, strawberry and cherry flavors mingle with nutmeg. On the palate I get much more fruit flavor than I was expecting, it is lush and vibrant with more strawberry, a trace of rhubarb and capsicum. The mid palate shows a touch of acidity and some minerality. The finish is of decent length and much the same for flavors. Refreshing and satisfying describe this 88 pointer from South Africa. Yours for $10 makes this a 4 point wine that will pair tonight with roast pork shoulder and spiced Basmati rice. Drink till 2020. Salut….
It’s summer, which means Rose’. I have recently started to enjoy and understand a bit more about this style of wine so when I saw one made from Cabernet Sauvignon- I had to try. It is a much deeper shade of reddish pink than most Rose’ wines, probably a longer maceration with the skins to give it the color. On the nose it is quite fresh with strawberry, citrus, almond and pear coming through. On the palate this chilled wine is delicious. Lemon, blood orange and strawberry are my initial tastes. It has a touch of acidity that refreshes the palate beautifully. The reddish fruit (Strawberry and blood orange) carry through the mid palate. The transition to the finish is seamless with the addition of some pear and more lemon zest. It leaves the gums pleasantly tingling with some acidity and that lingering blood orange tinge. A really yummy summer quaffer that will refresh while preparing dinner or go great with Salmon, salad or grilled garlic chicken. Drink till 2022. 89 points and 5 stars for this $12 effort. PS. I’m a fan of Mulderbosch wines and this one did not disappoint. Salut….
Wow- inky, dark, thick and brooding in appearance. The nose is focused, plum torte and blackberry extract are my first impressions. On the palate it’s full of dark fruits, tar, mint and a meaty component. The tannins are so mild, melded and unobtrusive- making this a great sipping wine. It’s flavorful, easygoing, adaptable yet complex. The finish is really smooth with nice blackberry jam and bacon notes. Medium length. This is not a dry nor sweet wine- just nicely balanced between the extremes. Drink till 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $20 effort. The pros went higher, perhaps I need to re-calibrate! Salut….