d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings 2014

Pleasant if not too restrained – primary fruit (cherry, plum) struggling to make an impact on the nose or palate.

Further savoury characteristics on the palate, toasted oak and fine tannins, medium acidity and a medium- finish. High alcohol but once again wasn’t evident in the body. Was expecting more for the price, just scrapes a 90, based on my love of this label.

Not sure that there is much to be gained from by leaving the rest in the cellar but I might wait another year.

Altos Las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2013

Altos Las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2013
Altos Las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2013

A clear, medium, ruby wine with tears evident. Medium intensity nose clean and developing with smoke and savoury aromas somewhat overpowering the blackberry fruit and plum.

Dry with medium+ acid, medium+ alcohol (14%) and medium silky tannins. A medium bodied wine with medium finish and flavours of plum and sour cherry, but hard to find under the smoke and tar nose. Not unpleasant, just different.

This is a good wine (90 points) but will benefit from decanting to lift the fruit a bit. Mid-priced and for drinking now, may improve until 2017.

The acid and tannin profile, in combination with the nose, will suit meat based dished from charcuterie through to hams and even heavier dishes like osso bucco.

Check out their range here.

Backsberg “Klein Babylonstoren” 2013

A clear, dbacksberg kb13eep, purple wine. A medium intensity nose clean and developing with a black fruit, cassis, hint of smokiness and dried herbs.

Dry on the palate with medium+ acid, alcohol (14%) and tannins. Medium+ body, flavour and finish. So pretty consistent in that medium+ range. I thought that the acid slightly overpowered the balance of the wine (youth?) and the alcohol was clearly evident in the finish. Blackberry through and through, perhaps a hint of dark chocolate.

This is a good wine (90 points) that integrates the Bordeaux varietals well and offers value for money in the mid-priced range (ZAR 119 but around AUD 25 locally). Can drink it now but it has the potential for aging 10 to 15 years.