Chateau Libertas Classic Dry Red Blend 2017

By , 13 May 2019



Chateau Libertas Classic Dry Red Blend 2017

How the mighty have fallen.

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.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.


11 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

    Charmaine | 21 October 2021

    What can I do with my bottle of Chateau Libertas 1989 ?

    Joao | 20 December 2019

    Got 7 bottles of 1973 vintage that I found in a basement which I was clearing out for construction of a generator room .
    I don’t know how to rate it but it went down while with spirt .
    There where 9 bottles in the original box .
    When I turned the box upright one bottle fall through and broke . Bottle 8 was drunk . So I got 7 left with about 70 to 90 bottles from the same basement in Jeppie Street Jhb about 16 years ago . I got all the wine in a food cellar near Underburg .

    Stewart Prentice | 14 May 2019

    And of course it’s 14 in the context of wines of this type, taking into account all sorts of factors. There cannot be one universal standard for rating wine. Whether there should be ratings at all is another wonderful never ending debate. I prefer recommendations made by widely drunk ( experienced) professionals, complemented by a bit of trial and error. But as a bottle goes, it was enjoyable with the food, the company and all that goes with that. Alone, by myself feeling miserable and downing a bottle would probably be far less enjoyable.

      Merlin | 5 May 2022

      Spoken like a true Jedi 🙂 I couldn’t agree more. Wine always taste better with good food but more importantly good company. The same wine can taste pretty bland and insipid when consumed by oneself in a bad mood…

      As for scoring — yes, we all buy and gauge wines by what it scored by critics or in competitions — yet, wine is extremely personal. Two people can share the same bottle of wine – one can love it and the other hate it and both can be right…

      If and when I do consider a score from a critic, I like to align myself with one that I find myself agreeing with more often than not. In my case that’s Michelangelo. I also prefer Michelangelo ratings as there judges do blind tasting unlike some who are paid to score and rate wines or who require a fee to be published in their annual Wnies Guides.

      In Vino Veritas

    James Walls | 13 May 2019

    “Nuclear Holocaust” hahahaha

    Stewart Prentice | 13 May 2019

    Hi Christian, please try another bottle. I shared with my the family with slow cooked short rib yesterday and I thought it better than the Thelema dry red which I had a few days ago. It’s not overly fruity but to me this is no bad thing, especially with food. I’d give it a happy 14 out of 20 if I had to score it.

      Cornel | 13 May 2019

      Well 79/100 is a better score than 14/20.

        Christian Eedes | 14 May 2019

        Hi Cornel, I don’t think the 20-point system can be directly compared to the 100-point system. When the 20-point system held sway, tasters typically used to score in a seven-point band from 12 (faulty) to 18 (superlative). The 100-point system allows slightly more nuance even if nobody every scores below 70.

    Francois | 13 May 2019

    Christian, please excuse my ignorance, I know nothing about wine scoring yet I’m guided by scores all the time when purchasing wine.

    By scoring this wine 79 you’ve left me confused. It seems as if the mere fact that it IS wine and fit for human consumption immediately qualifies it for about 70 points, and the final 30 points (on the 100 point scale) is where you judge quality, i.e. you’ve given this wine 9/30 for quality, which judging by your comments, sounds about right.

    Or how else would a wine that doesn’t have an obvious fault score 60 or even 50 or 40 points?

      Christian Eedes | 13 May 2019

      Hi Francois, I think you’ve put it better than I could. The 100-point system is in reality a 30-point system, sub-70 being overtly faulty, 70-79 being poor, 80-89 being good to very good and 90-plus signifying varying degrees of excellence, 100 points implying perfection.

    David | 13 May 2019

    Tassies next please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.