Lion’s Lair Dreyer Family 2012 Family Reserve White

South Africa
50% Chenin Blanc, 13% Roussanne, 13% Grenache Blanc, 12% Clairette Blanche, 12% Verdelho; 12.5% ABV
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 21 December

LionsLair_2012_ResWhiteThe front label of this wine struck me as dull enough, but I was really excited by the blend listed on the back label.  However, a regular customer told me that he hadn’t liked it because it was too sour.  It was with his comment in mind that I opened it to cook with last night.  Although the fruit is nicely ripe (lemon, yellow pear and melon) and blended, it is also rather sour, with a taste tending toward spoiled.  I was considering Thumbs Down.

Today, the fruit is a little more forward and that almost-spoiled character has subsided somewhat, so that it’s actually reasonably tasty, if still on the sour side.  I guess it’s okay, but not really for me.

There’s an accompanying Lion’s Lair red, blended in a southern Rhone style.  If anyone’s tried it, please let us know what you thought about it.

7 thoughts on “Lion’s Lair Dreyer Family 2012 Family Reserve White

  1. pbarnett

    I just purchased a bottle of the Lions Lair Family Reserve White and tried it last night. It was a surprisingly nice wine with the Roussanne and Chenin Blanc really presenting themselves nicely. i suspect that the reason for the initial comments on sourness was that the bottle may have been a little too cold, which would result in a muting of the Roussane and Verdelho’s fruitier components leaving mostly the sour/acid aspects. The South African version of Chenin Blanc tends to be that way too. I have found that to be the case from a lot of tastings of those grapes and I only gave this wine a light chill (20 minutes in the fridge). Today I have pulled it out of the fridge, let it sit there and come back to a reasonable temperature, and the more it warms the better it tastes.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi PBarnett and welcome. That could be. My house is rather chilly these days and I may have drunk it too cool.

  2. EHL

    The LL “Family Reserve Red” is selling in Seattle GOs for $4 (minus the usual PNW surcharge), SRP $16.

    A pretty solid South African wine, eminently quaffable and tasty from first popping the Stelvin cap. My bottle had some funk in the background that complemented a pleasing nose and palate reflecting ripely-soft cherries and violets, was medium-bodied, with a decent, lengthy finish.

    One reviewer’s upbeat notes: “Produced by a family that started planting vines in the early 1700s, this is wonderfully South African wine. It is a bit rustic and wild, but with excellent structure and strong fruit. A blend of predominately Shiraz, with bits of Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault thrown in, this wine has a wonderful earthy, savory quality, with a nose of black pepper of licorice and a mouthful of rustic dark berry fruit, followed by a nice bit of acidity and tannins to give the wine good structure and a longer finish than you’d expect.”

    Nice find, for an even nicer price…


  3. seedboy

    I purchased a bottle of the red at the Richmond store. After a funky nose blows off it is an elegant South African take on a CduR. Nice wine. Good wines for good prices at the Richmond store right now.


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