Saturday, December 11, 2010

Leopard Frog 2004 Tantra then an Old Credit Amber Ale (South Africa / Ontario)

When I tried this wine many moons ago I was enthralled with it, a delicious blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot from South Africa ... it was during the Sante event in Toronto and South Africa was the "host country".  Winemaker David Powell was in and he was incredibly engaging, and without modesty, as he told us why he named the wine Tantra (something to do with making love to his wife).  The wine was quoted to us as being worth $60, many thought he said "sixteen" - which was a steal - but that myth was quashed when they handed us the notes from the day and saw that it was indeed a 60 dollar bottle of wine (the LCBO decided to sell it for $23 - don't ask, as I didn't, I just bought a few quickly).  Of course this is all preamble to me opening this wine on this particular Saturday with MY wife ... my modesty will prevail here.  On the menu was some pretty simple chicken with a couple of side dishes, one of which were French Fries.  I looked forward to popping the cork on this wine so I did so right as dinner was served.  The nose was fantastic, black fruit with a little pepper and a really nice herb component; I couldn't wait to take a sip.  Peppery notes were at the fore of the tongue, but then something strange occurred, that usual tarry-earthy sensation that you get in young South African wines was here in spades, there was no hint of it on the nose but the palate was loaded with it ... it tasted dirty.  Still very tannic but also very dirty ... I could not mask my disappointment, I gave it an hour, sampling it every 10 minutes and it never got better, it fact it continued in its dirty ways ... I do not remember this wine having this characteristic those many moons ago, and checking my notes from the past I see it did not; what happened?  Anyway, we moved onto something else,instead of a wine we quaffed some Old Credit Amber Ale ... now that was good.

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