Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mulderbosch Faithful Hound - The Story of Two Dogs (South Africa)

Many years ago I bought a bottle of Mulderbosch Faithful Hound (2002), I think it was the story behind the bottle that tugged my heart-strings. Faithful Hound is about a dog who's master abandoned him outside a cottage on the Mulderbosch farm; the dog waited for the return of his master for 3 years outside that cottage door to no avail, and unfortunately passed away "unrewarded for his loyalty". Truly a sad story. Thing is, so was opening this bottle of wine. My 2002 Faithful Hound, for all intense and purposes, looked like it was in good shape, until you started removing the tin capsule. Under the capsule was a dried up coating of old wine where it had leaked out. I could smell sherried wine as I peeled it off. The corkscrew sunk in way too easily, the cork was incredibly soft and spongy ... and at first I thought the bottle was oxidized, but nope, within a few minutes there was the unmistakable smell of basement, this wine was corked, and badly so. Now 20 minutes later I can still taste the nastiness. It just so happens that I have a 2003 version of this same wine, let's pop the cork and see how that is.

I am going to do this as a play-by-play as I am exploring this new bottle. Capsule comes off easily, no mess underneath, still made of tin (in case you were wondering). Cork seems intact and has some give. I bought this bottle in May of 2006 and I have a notation on the back to "Hold till 2009" (I seem to have accomplished that mission). Cork offers some resistance to the corkscrew. The cork is removed, black on one end with no seepage up the sides. Good colour. Smells are of coffee, mocha and spice. Peering at the back label the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Merlot (34%), Shiraz (6%), Malbec and Cabernet Franc (3% each). Palate is a touch earthy and brambly with coffee and spice notes, fruit and dark chocolate notes are starting to emerge the longer it remains open; this one is definitely much better than the 2002. Probably could have sat it in the rack a few more years to smooth out, but I suspect a decanter and a large glass will accomplish the same thing faster. I'm off to have a evening drink and ponder dinner choices. Cheers.

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