Robertson Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2016


Price: R56.50 (as of May 2017)
Winery: Robertson Winery
Varietal: Red Blend
Wine Region: Robertson
Country: South Africa


Quality: 8/20
Value: 1/5
Ponce Factor: Lower than a Haitian limbo dancer
Occasion: That last resort

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I tried to keep an open mind, but this travesty has more barnyard references than an Orwell book.
On the nose there were well developed notes of gumboot rubber, salty leather, blue cheese & syrupy sweet black pastel fruit notes.
The palate continued the sweet blackberry theme, with the fruit element sitting beneath a tarpaulin of artificial acidity, with metallic notes of pitchfork & hoe.
The tail carries more Gorgonzola than a manic Casaro, along with some pepper spice.

24 hours and a fancy Decanter

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the cheapest wines need the most time and the fanciest decanter. Here’s why:
The unfortunate thing about a cheap wine is that, even if you manage to find one that tastes better than it costs, the label will almost certainly give the game away (with its leopard print, giraffe silhouette, or weird coffee reference).
The solution is quite simply to replace a cheap label with a delightfully expensive looking decanter. The awesome thing about a decanter is that it looks just as sexy carrying Tall Horse special edition as it does when boasting a Lafite 1982.
And while you could always just pour out a Lafite 1982, and use the bottle as a decanter, there are some more affordable options at your disposal.
Here are some pretty wild incarnations from to feast your peepers on.

“A cheap screwcap wine that smells beefy & savoury when you open it, is often a good deal cleaner up to
24 hours later.”Han, while drinking solo

24 hours in the hole to blow off some steam

A cheap screwcap wine that smells beefy and savoury when you open it, will (more often than not) smell a good deal cleaner after 24 hours with the lid off. 

While there are certainly some incredible wines with screwcap enclosures, it is safe to say the majority of screwcaps on retail shelves belong to cheaper wines of lower quality.

These lower quality wines can very often carry reductive compounds in the bottle. Reductive compounds are simply some pretty terrible smelling compounds that can develop in the absence of sufficient oxygen. You can read more about what happens when you let a wine breathe here.

If you’re not sure what to look for, reductive compounds smell like an old beef sandwich in the belly of a dead moose. There is nothing pleasurable about the beefy, furry, savoury, animalistic aromas that often greet one when opening a screwcap wine.

But luckily for all concerned, these don’t hang around forever.
In fact, they quite literally blow off the surface of the wine, so the greater the surface that is exposed to air, the faster the process occurs.
Hence the big decant.
If you find you’re struggling to find delightful fruity aromas, and instead are greeted purely by beef, horse, and moose, try giving your wine the silent treatment for a few hours, and see if it repents.

If you’re a sado-masochist who regularly buys wines like these, then be sure to open your wines a good few hours before guests arrive. And spend more on your decanter than you do on your wine.

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.