Tag Archives: Anura

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.

Anura 2014 Malbec Limited Release

TLDR:  Moderately interesting, moderately pleasant, moderately overpriced //
Quality: 14/20 //
Price: R145.00 (as of Sept 2016) //
Value: 2/5 //
Ponce factor: Low //
Occasion: Book club //
Key words: New World, Single-variety//
Vivino rating //

Tasting notes:

A decent offering with moderate intrigue value, but at R145, it’s a touch over-priced.

Almost a year has passed since my last blind tasting of this wine, & the scores have remained unchanged.
Colour is probably still the loveliest thing about it; more opaque than the President’s finances.
Speaking of the President, the palate holds some seriously dense fruit that seems to hang around for ages.
Again those classic Malbec-ish sweet tobacco & aromatic pine-resin notes mingled with the lingering black fruit tail.
The wine is soft & fruity enough to enjoy solo, but is certainly in no danger of being a fruit bomb.

To fill those awkward silences…

Uppety wine snobs will tell you that South Africa makes poor malbecs, but that hasn’t stopped our winemakers from trying. On occasion, they produce something quite lovely. Anura’s Limited release 2014 vintage is one such wine.

For folk who like a little history (but just a little), the short version of the Malbec story is this:
In the Cahors region, South West France (where they were called “Cot”) plantings of the grape have been in decline, mostly because they are kind weakling in nature, and often get wiped out by frost or disease. Grapes like Cab franc are a little hardier, and so risk-averse farmers have steered clear of Cot/Malbec where they have had the choice.

In Argentina, however, the warmer climate seems to have treated the grapes quite well, and the results have been some delightfully large black-fruit-driven velvety reds, lacking the sometimes austere tannic nature of their French counterparts.
Argentina’s success with the grape has grown to the point where any Malbec anyone ever raved about was nigh on guaranteed to come from the Mendoza region of Argentina. Argentina has even declared Malbec to be their “national grape”. Needless to say, in Argentina, Malbec is kind of a big deal.
Now whether the frenzied devotion to the grape was warranted or not, the global success of the Mendoza Malbecs spread confidence to other New World winemakers in regions with warmer climates. Our Stellenbosch is one such region (though there are other regions producing great Malbecs too).

If you enjoy this guy, look out for the following South African Malbecs:
1. Doolhof Signatures Malbec (Stellenbosch)
2. Paul Wallace Black Dog Malbec
3. Annexkloof Reserve Malbec
4. La Couronne Malbec
5. Mt Vernon Malbec