JUST THE FACTS
Price: R140 (as of Feb 2017)
Wine Region: Stellenbosch
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: Moderate
Occasion: A heavy wine for a heavy dinner. Serve this with the Sunday roast.
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Superb length! Although I’ve been told that girth is also important.
Fruit on the palate is denser than a remedial class of beagle puppies, with oodles of ripe plum fruit that lingers longer than groupie at Mötley Crüe gig. Vanguard aromas include vanilla, a few splinters of timber, and the aforementioned black fruit.
Acidity is pronounced, carried on the back of tart rasberry & blackberry notes.
The label describes tannins as velvety, but, honestly, I’d say it’s closer to a coarse suede.
While this is indeed the winner of a Michaelangelo Trophy award, I’m not sure it should be flashing that medal just yet. It will undoubtedly be better company in a year or two.
Meaty vs Brawny
I feel like perhaps there have been enough penis jokes for one post, but it probably is worth spending a little time differentiating between two terms that get bandied around rather often, sometimes interchangeably, despite having two different meanings in the wine world.
MEATY: A reference to savoury notes (also referred to as “beefy”) which can crop up on some heavy reds (especially on more serious examples of shiraz/syrah, the odd pinotage, Carignan, and some Italian wines (like some aged Nebbiolos). It is unequivocally savoury, and is in the same ballpark as notes of black olive, or even “salami” – a note often mentioned in relation to the aforementioned Nebiolos.
BRAWNY: A reference to the combined effect of weight on the palate and texture (tannins). A very concentrated wine, with prominent tannins, would no doubt be described as brawny, but could just as easily be termed “powerful”, “muscular”, or “bold”.
It need not be savoury at all, but does need to be very heavy on the palate, usually with prominent tannic structure.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.