As part of my recent effort to give users of this website a baseline when it comes to scoring, a bottle of Distell’s Chateau Libertas Classic Dry Red Blend 2017 (approximate retail price: R60 a bottle) was recently broached.
Typically from the Bordeaux varieties with additional Shiraz, the nose of the 2017 is super-reductive – it would seem it has undergone sulphur treatment to withstand nuclear holocaust let alone a few weeks in a retail environment without temperature control. If you really use your imagination, some red and black fruit plus a little herbal character can be discerned underneath all those excess sulfites but it’s not inviting at all.
The palate, meanwhile, lacks any meaningful fruit definition, freshness or grip. It’s not an outright faulty wine but it is thin and unexciting. It is a sadness that this label is now associated with such dreck when those wines that bear its name from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s are very often sensational.
Editor’s rating: 79/100.
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