Stellenbosch, South Africa
65% Cabernet, 35% Merlot; 14.0% ABV
$2 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 5 May. Already gone. If it returns, the price may be higher.
When this showed up, I recalled JWC’s positive review of the 2001 Le Riche Reserve Cabernet, so I got one right away. I can’t say this wine lives up to the 2001 Reserve, but it’s still decent considering the low price.
The wine was tasty from first pour, but it darkens and smooths out after about 1.5 hours of air. It has a nice nose of earth, aged complexity, and tangy red fruit. On the palate, I found tangy, dark cherry, red / purple plum, earth / rust (in a way that reminded me of some Amador County, CA, wines), and lighter prune. Interestingly, I thought it resembled the recently reviewed Robertson Winery 2010 Pinotage more than it does a California Cabernet or Merlot. Quite vibrant and lively, it’s very good for $2. The catch is it’s slightly over the hill, which becomes more noticeable as the wine airs. Thus, I suggest not airing this wine and drinking it on one night, or using it to cook with. The single-glass screw cap bottle I saved for another night had become undrinkably vinegary.