The Wine of the Week: Mulderbosch South African Rosé
As I started writing about this South African Rosé, I had a deja vu experience… As it turns out, I wrote about this same wine in 2014. I might have scrapped this attempt and written about something else, but I opted to carry on and give you the opportunity to read about how much a wine can change vintage to vintage, as well as how much stays the same.
I covered the basics about South Africa, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mulderbosch in the previous post. In this one, I will focus more on the Coastal Region and, even better, the wine itself.
Wine of Origin is the term used for South African wines to indicate that wines from a particular region are regulated and determined to meet a designated set of standards. Coastal Region is the actual place name used. Compare this to Spain’s Rioja DOCa – Rioja is the place, DOCa is the regulatory status.
The Coastal Region of the Western Cape runs along approximately 65 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline. It is home to South Africa’s most famous wine region, Stellenbosch, and at least half of all the area under vine in the country. Much like Bordeaux, parts of Chile, and parts of the California Coast, it has a maritime climate. Wines have been made here since the late 17th century.
About this Wine
The sheer brick-red color is unique and appealing. Aromas are earthy, cedar and somewhat tropical – the leathery skins of mangos ripening in the sun. On the palate, flavors of dark plums flecked with black pepper are followed by aromas of ripe strawberries, and a hint of rose in the background. There is acidity present, for sure, but integrated with astringency and mineral salinity.
I enjoyed this wine with my own version of salad Nicoise that replaces the classic tuna with chunks of rotisserie chicken, on a bed of peppery arugula (lemon juice and olive oil are much friendlier dressing than vinaigrette with any wine). I recommend this with bold flavors – grilled or roasted items, heartier vegetables and grains, and, of course, bacon. Steer away from sweeter barbecue sauces, stick with fresh herbs and earthy spices. Fresh cheeses, especially mozzarella, would also be at home with this one.
I actually preferred this South African Rosé after it had opened in the glass a bit – as it is a Cabernet Sauvignon that should not be 100% surprising. As it sat it relaxed, became rounder, less prickly and astringent. I was able to pick up on some wood/oak characteristics that, when super cold, made it seem almost soapy to me. I recommend you do the same.
With so many rosés to choose from, I like to taste around the world as much as possible. Mulderbosch is a well-known, consistently reliable brand, and wines of South Africa tend to be in a very approachable price category (this was around $10/bottle in NYC). I highly recommend having this one in your rotation.
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