Back in April, I picked up a bottle of South African Mountain River Reserve, 2005, Pinotage/Shiraz for all of $7 at Trader Joe's. I am always on the look-out for under-valued, under-rated, hidden gems in red wine, and I hoped this might be one of those pleasant surprises. I was vastly wrong. I asked Dr Desert Flower to sample a sip for herself, and her grimace and verbal response concurred with my assessment: Opening notes of cigar box, with rhubarb & asparagus tones, combining with a medicinal cough syrup finish that leaves hints of cherry Sucrets on the tongue. Ew! =P I tried the next day, on a second glass, and it got a little better. By the 5th day, when most wines are starting to oxidize excessively, I was able to choke down the last 2 glasses with some Herdez spicy salsa - I am too much of a cheap bastard to just dump it, unless it is as fetid and hopeless as the Chinese wines I've been exposed to.
If this South African Pinotage is the sort of wine you're looking for.. I hope you enjoy it. Tso Dho Nimh had a similar unpalatable experience here though I have never tasted brake fluid to be able to compare (and hope I never shall). Perhaps the 2003 vintage was better... but the quality degradation I tasted is a far cry from what Jason's wine blog found.
1 year ago