2014, Mulderbosch, Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, Coastal Region, South Africa
The Wine of the Week by Annette Tomei
Although wine has been made in South Africa since the late 17th century, the region did not have a measurable presence in the international wine market until the 1990s. In the early years, South Africa was known for Pinotage, a hybrid of Pinot Noir and Cinsault that produces a red wine with a reputation that is still suffering from poor quality products thrust on the market in the region’s early years. Unlike the Pinotage, South Africa’s Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc have both earned accolades
Today, the South African wine industry reflects a developing blend of influences. Grape varieties are French-influenced, but in a truly New World manner, the industry is increasingly international in flavor – Europeans, Australians, and Americans (north and south) have set up shop in this new and minimally regulated region where land is inexpensive (in comparison) and creativity is welcome.
Mulderbosch is one of the most recognized names in South African wine, yet it has only been around since 1989 with its first vintage in 1994. Although wine making is in the hands of a South African with strong roots in the local industry as well as international training, Mulderbosch was acquired by a California wine company (Terroir Capital) in 2011.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant grape in South Africa’s Coastal Region, though typically found with Merlot in Bordeaux-style blends, it does make a lovely rosé. This particular wine has a deep garnet-pink color. Aromas of tart grapefruit and graphite/pencil shavings open to hints of peppery berries; on the palate, juicy sun-ripened strawberries with a black pepper bite. Ever-so-slightly sweet, this wine is a great match for the international table – especially one that is heavily influenced by the aromatic spicy dishes of India and Southeast Asia. You may also notice a refreshing bite of effervescence, similar to the style of Vinho Verde (a result of bottling when still very young) – this crisp, palate-cleansing tingle just adds to the appeal and food-friendly character.
Annette is the founder of VinEducation, where she is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com.
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