As good as American wines are, there is a wide world of wine out there, and it’s a lot of fun to explore. Take, for example, the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, a university town settled by the Dutch in the late 17th century. Nestled on the banks of the Eerste River and the foothills of a mountain range, the Stellenbosch region started producing wine as early as 1690, and began exporting it almost immediately because the conditions were ideal. Today, the Stellenbosch Wine Route is one of the biggest attractions in the Western Cape, with over 200 wineries and farms attracting visitors from all over the world looking for a quality wine and gourmet food experience.
But enough PR about the area: is the wine any good? Yes it is. And now is a perfect time to try Stellenbosch wine, because 2015 is being heralded as the best vintage of all time there – and those are the bottles you’ll find in select wine stores locally right now! The one I am reviewing today is a Bordeaux blend called Faithful Hound, which has been rated 90 points by Robert Parker, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator.
An equal amount Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Faithful Hound also blends Merlot (21%) Petit Verdot (9%) and Malbec (7%) into a delicious and well balanced wine that you need to try! A deep ruby in the glass, this wine impressed me with lovely blackberry, plum and tobacco aromas. It’s medium to full-bodied with loads of crisp, black fruit flavors, mint, licorice and vanilla, toasty oak and a very long earthy finish. Best of all, you can find this wine for less than $20 locally! If this wine were made in Bordeaux or Napa, you’d expect to pay at least $50 for it.
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, the 2015 Faithful Hound from Mulderbosch Vineyards gets a solid 4 corks! It’s a great introduction to South African wine, but if you can’t find it in stores, find any Stellenbosch red from 2015 and you won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Sorrento’s Norwood Italian! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!