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Dombeya Fenix 2009

Big bird.
Big bird.

With the 2009 vintage, the Bordeaux-style red blend from Dombeya Wines owned by American businessman Preston Haskell changes name from Altus to Fenix, this the result of a legal challenge brought by producer-wholesaler Distell on the basis that “Altus” infringed its trademark on Alto.

Legal shenanigans aside, what of the wine? A blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 4% Malbec, it’s in a modern idiom with lots of fruit weight and soft tannins. Red and black fruit plus some chocolate. Look hard and there’s just a hint of (Merlot-derived?) savoury character. It’s well-crafted and at R120 a bottle, probably fairly priced but doesn’t really float my boat.  

Score: 86/100.


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