So tonight I am opening a bottle of wine that I bought last weekend from my favorite local wine purveyor, G.B. Russo's, and since they had a tasting of this wine on Saturday I had a sneak preview before I even decided to open this bottle, the 2009 Glen Carlou Grand Classique. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (43%), Petit Verdot (20%), Merlot (16%), Malbec (16%) and Cabernet Franc (5%), produced in South Africa and imported by the Hess Family Collection. Now some of you might be looking at the blend and wondering if I liked it given the amount of Malbec in the blend, and surprisingly I really liked this one!
The wine is a lovely deep, inky purple color in the glass and the nose provides a combination of leather, blackberry, tart cherry, toasted oak and just a hint of baking spice. The taste is quite nice, with some tart cherry and plum up front that transitions to some lovely notes of tobacco and dark chocolate midpalate. The tannins are somewhat young, but they are nicely structured, leading to a long, supple finish that's really very pleasant.
Overall I would rate this one a solid 8.5, not because it's a spectacular wine, thought it's quite nice, but because it was such a wonderful bargain at only $11! I've tasted many $20 bottles that were not as pleasing as this one, so that says a lot about the steadily improving quality of the wines from South Africa. Tonight I am pairing this with a rare Angus T-bone served with some sweet potato fries and steamed Italian flat beans, as this wine really stands up to the boldest of grilled meats. Cheers!