Tinsel, Pine and a Nice (Cheap!)Red Blend

Christmas has waned and the post-Christmas blues are waxing.  What to do.  My answer is to try something new!!

img_0001The 18th Man Red Blend vinted and bottled by Familia Nueva Vineyards just might do the trick!!  This 2013 Red Blend of Syrah 60%, Petit Verdot 19%, Malbec 19% and Cabernet Sauvignon 2% seems to hit the spot.  This blend comes from Paso Robles (which means BIG WINES!!) and seems fill up the post-Christmas void.  I get a total and complete Blackberry pie or cobbler which means you can just drink the wine and skip the dessert.  There is also a nice waft of cigar box– which I was happy to identify prior to reading the label.  Yea me!!

You don’t need to pair this with a meal.  This wine is heavy enough and rich enough to stand on its own.  It has the weight of some residual sugar to fill up those spaces in between your ribs.    But if you feel you need a little something…. the label recommends “aggressive appetizers in the form of nachos, corn dogs or even bacon wrapped jalapenos.”

For all my folks that contacted me about the Apothic wines, I would tell you to give this one a try!!!  I found it at Trader Joes and it was < $10.  Enjoy.   And be sure to let me know what you think!   I love your feedback.

Just to keep you in the loop, we drank Altamura, Caymus, Schafer, & Thumbprint for Christmas… but I couldn’t stop to talk.    They were all pretty big, too.

The Faithful Hound

A good wine with a good storyIMG_1681I wanted to like this red blend because I loved the story behind the name.  I  heard the story at a tasting held by a South African distributor but, for whatever reason, we weren’t tasting this particular wine.  The story was so  touching that the women were close to tears and the men appeared to be squirming in their chairs trying not to display any emotion. Stories obviously make wines very sell-able because they are so memorable!! I never forgot it and I was more than pleased to come across the wine at my local liquor store six months later.

As the story goes, this Stellenbosch winery was purchased and a dog was found outside a cottage on the property.  He had apparently been abandoned by the previous owner.  The dog eventually came to follow the new owners around, but every night he returned to the same spot under a tree, near the cottage, to wait for his old master.   He did this for several years.  Eventually the dog grew old and passed away.  This Mulderbosch wine label honors ‘the faithful hound.’  I get teary eyed just thinking about it.  We all love our dogs so much!

So was it just a pretty label??  The artwork IS gorgeous!!  It was a very solid wine.  It had all the grilled, jammy blackberry and cherry fruit  of a new world wine along with black pepper, leather and  earthy, mushroom flavors often found in old world wines.  The wine had nice acidity and well integrated tannins.  The wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc 45%, Cabernet Sauvignon 29%, Merlot 15%, Malbec 4%, Petite Verdot 4%.  It is very enjoyable especially at a price point of $18 and its made even better by the story!

Despite the fact that viticulture has been undertaken in South Africa for over threee hundred years, South Africa has lagged behind many other countries in developing its fine wine production.  Economic opportunities and investment in the wine industry have improved since the end of Apartheid, but there is still a long way to go.  What this means to the consumer is there are good values to be found coming out of South Africa and the Faithful Hound is one of them.