Tag Archives: petit verdot

Anura Petit Verdot 2010


The Headlines: //
Ok, so you decide to buy the roll of blackcurrant fruit pastilles, right? Rather than the mixed bag. Because Blackcurrant are the best. Then you discover that when EVERYTHING is blackcurrant, blackcurrant doesn’t seem so special. You realise that one needs all the other duds to make BC feel like the rare reward that it is. So it is with this wine
TN: Lots and lots of soft black fruit. But unfortunately not much of anything else.
Aromas of violets, gentle hints of oak & some savoury fresh leather.
Sure, the palate is packed full of soft plums, cassis & blueberries, but without the necessary acidity or structure (where are those PV tannins?) it all borders on being a little flabby (not that I judge, being a little flabby myself).

Quality: 14/20 //
Price: R120 //
Value: 3/5 //
Ponce factor: medium-low//
Occasion: Lazy Sunday with lamb on the spit //
Key words: flabby, temperature//
Vivino rating //

Feeling flabby? Chill out, and everything will be fine

LIFE HACK ALERT. Just because you open a wine and find it to be kinda flat, sweet, overly fruity, and lacking in structure, that doesn’t mean that all is lost, and you should resort to adlibbing renditions of cousin Thelma’s strawberry daiquiri recipe. There are ways to improve a wine that may pack plenty of fruit, but seems to lack those little elements we fondly refer to as “structure”and “acidity”.

Hot and Heavy

(**This is where a wine thermometer comes in handy)

Let’s just say it is a warm summer’s evening, and you’re barbecuing a fat, juicy piece of Sirloin, which would ordinarily be perfectly paired with a brawny, concentrated, but prominently tannic Petit Verdot. Unfortunately for you, you discover that your PV of choice (hypothetically, the Anura Petit Verdot 2010) is (yay, verily) undeniably fruity, but also softer than a Bieber album and packing less punch than Pacquiao when he’s on a liquids-only diet.

What is key here is to bear in mind that the warm summer’s evening may have gone someway to increasing the temperature of your wine, perhaps shifting its temperature up into the low 20-23 degree Celsius mark. This lowers your ability to perceive tannins and acidity, but increases you ability to perceive sweetness (ever increasing as it approaches body temperature). The result can be a wine flabbier than John Goodman after Thanksgiving dinner.

So..what to do?

By putting your brawny, concentrated petit verdot into the fridge for an hour (or the freezer for half an hour) you’ll shave four or five degrees off that beast’s serving temperature and completely transform how she performs in the glass.

Acidity (and any tannins that may be present) will be bolstered quite significantly by the decrease in serving temperature, allowing those previously nominal elements to actually pull their weight and better balance the superbly dense black fruit offered by the PV of choice.

All of a sudden, a second glass of the stuff doesn’t feel so bad.

Conversely, should you find yourself pulling the cork on a rather tannic and austere wine, you can apply this theory in reverse.

Rather than blocking your nose, lining your mouth with lamb fat, and chugging that bad boy like it’s O-week, try putting the bottle in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes. Warming it up a few degrees can (on occasions) bring out some sorely needed fruit elements and soften the tannic nature of the beast you’ve chosen to serve.

You’re welcome.

Eikendal Charisma 2013

TLDR:  A shiraz-lover’s dream with plenty to talk about //
Quality: 16/20 //
Price: R115 (as of Sept 2016) //
Value: 4/5 //
Ponce factor: Moderate //
Occasion: As comfy at a Friday night dinner as it is as a mid-week pick-me-up //
Key words: Sangiovese, Spice, Platters //
Vivino rating //

Tasting notes:

Colour is a dense, youthful crimson with legs like a female shotput champ – intimidating, but mesmerizing.

The palate reads like a Shiraz with cloves, violets & blackberries filling most of the frame. That said, the sweet black fruit that lingers longer than a pigeon on a Rhodes statue must be in part due to the 17% Petit Verdot. Not to mention the grippy tannins that pop up on the caboose. The red cherry acidity is delightfully clean & elegant, and while the blend holds only 5% Sangiovese, I can’t help feel like the Italian variety is responsible.

To fill those awkward silences…

No doubt about it, this is a weird blend by anyone’s standards. Eikendal themselves sell it as “a blend that will make sense when it’s in your glass”, because, hell, it makes very little sense on paper. You have two potentially brawny nightclub-bouncer-type varieties in the form of the Shiraz and Petit Verdot, but then toss in a teeny-tiny 5% of the moderately bodied Sangiovese? It’s a bit like having a Barbershop Trio (from Skokey Illinois) made up of James Hetfield, Chris Cornell, and… Elliot Smith. Weird mental image, right? Totally.

And yet, begrudgingly one must admit that it makes sense in the glass. Which makes for great dinner time convo for any ponces that you care to invite to the dinner table.

Shiraz delivers delightful pepper and cloves notes, which are pretty obvious on this wine. Petit Verdot delivers super-dense sweet black fruit, and (IMO) the sangiovese is punching above its weight to deliver some red cherry acidity. But forget about what I have to say. Discuss it amongst yourselves. The following questions should keep you busy long enough:
1. “Does it really work to double up a shiraz over a petit verdot?”
2. “Can you taste the cherry tomato notes that the sangiovese brings to the table?”
3. “Did you get my clever pun? When I said “brings to the table”, it was funny because it is both literal and figurative. Because we’re at a table. Get it?”
4. “Will this guy get better if we cellar him for a year or two?” (FYI, the answer is “yes”)

Finally, while Platters ratings may have their critics, if you can nail a Platters 4-Star wine for under R120 then you are winning. The combined joy of price and a convo-worthy blend of mis-matched varieties (according to conventional wisdom) makes this a decent offering. Drink three now, and cellar three for 2018.