Muratie Ansela van de Caab 2011

Serious contender.

Serious contender.

Local Shiraz might be getting all the plaudits at the moment but I think it would be premature to write-off Bordeaux-style red blends just yet – nobody’s going refuse a glass of Kanonkop Paul Sauer or Meerlust Rubicon on principle.

Muratie doesn’t enjoy the same stature as the two properties above but its version of a Bordeaux red called Ansela van de Caab has been tracking in the right direction for a few vintages now and I was particularly impressed with the 2011 recently.

A blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, individual components were matured for 18 months in French oak, 50% new before being blended and returned to barrel for another six months.

The nose shows black fruit, pencil shavings and a certain tea leaf quality. The palate is full but balanced with fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins – it doesn’t pander to those seeking a softer, more accessible style but equally you wouldn’t call it lean or aggressive. It drinks very well now but should quite easily see in the next decade. Price per bottle: R195.

Score: 92/100.

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