The most interesting red wine at our weekly blind tasting was a deeply colored, smoky, powerful, licorice, tobacco and cinnamon scented red with concentrated dark fruits which combined the kind of cassis/plumy fruit associated with Cabernet Sauvignon and the bracing acidity and herbal overtones most often found in Cabernet Franc based wines. In fact the wine turned out to be a blend of roughly equal parts of the two Cabernets with a little Merlot added for the silky texture the grape contributes. The wine offered new world exuberant fruit with old world restraint and clarity of structure at the same time — altogether a winning combination.
The wine is called Rosalind and it is the top wine produced by one of South Africa’s 10 best wineries called Mooiplaas which means beautiful farm in Afrikaner. Dirk Roos, the owner of the winery, came to visit NY Vintners a year ago. Shane Benson and the staff were so impressed with the wines that they decided to bring them to New York and offer them to the customers of the store.
Dirk has been making wine under the Mooiplass label since 1995. The estate and its vineyard holdings date back to 1963. Roos, who is one of the nicest and smartest fellows in the wine business I have met in a long time joined our blind tasting panel a month ago and proved himself to be an adept taster as well as excellent wine maker. His passions are Chenin Blanc, the great white wine grape of the central Loire Valley and the two Cabernets which are blended into the Rosalind we liked so much. Mouth watering and beautifully balanced, this bold yet restrained wine is perfect from grilled meats, roast duck and slow simmering stews. At five years young the Rosalind is pleasurable now and will hold its fruit and character for at least another five years. Buy some to drink this winter and some to age. At $36 it is a gem.
Bob Millman New York Vintners