Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Tasty Trio of South African Wines

Vintage in, vintage out, this Cabernet pink
from Mulderbosch is a delicious value.
I’m a huge fan of South African wine. I’m a huge fan of South Africa in general, and 2014 saw my first pilgrimage to the wine and surfing Mecca of the Western Cape.

The raw beauty of the Western Cape cannot be grasped, no matter how many pictures you’ve seen. The pristine blue right-hand waves of Llandudno blew me away, despite all the hours of surf videos I’d watched in the preceding months. And sipping some local wines after a long day of surfing and hiking far exceeded any South African wine I’d picked up at some American shop.

But since that trip, I reminisce whenever I can by popping the cork (or, just as often, unscrewing the cap) on a South African wine. We don’t receive nearly enough South African imports here in the States, but there are plenty of good wines out there, most of them available at very reasonable prices. 

I recently tasted through three such wines, a white blend, a rosé and a red blend. Until my next trip back, these will have to do. 


2012 Marvelous Wines Yellow - South Africa, Western Cape
Medium to pale straw color. Nose of sea salt and lemon zest, ruby red grapefruit, sea shells. Bright and crisp on the palate, this makes me miss being on the Cape surfing and eating seafood, it’s just so inviting and clean. Great mix of fruit (lime meets guava meets apricot meets white peach), notes of honey and nougat as well, finishes clean and balanced. It’s a middleweight on the palate but maintains freshness and keeps the mouthwatering. 60% Chenin Blanc, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Viognier. (88 points)

2013 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
A vibrant watermelon color. Aromas of bright white cherries, sea breeze, cracked pepper, some spicy oregano and rose petals. On the palate, this is crisp and fresh with white cherries, red apple peel, wild strawberries and watermelon. Sea breeze, crushed shells, melon rind, notes of spicy green herbs and peppercorns. Tart and brisk but full of fruit and crushed seashell. Zippy and clean, complex, refreshing. (88 points)

2012 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
Nose snows a mix of plums, currants, cola and some earthy-meaty notes tones. Dusty tannic structure, medium acid, lots of black currant and cherry fruit. Very smoky on the palate, with charcoal, fire pit and barbecue sauce elements. I also get some black pepper, soy glaze, and earthy accents that make me craved root vegetables and braised meat. A delicious and complex blend of 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 13% Malbec and 10% Petite Verdot. (89 points)

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