Spier - 2005 Malbec/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot

The last wine I'm looking at this week from Spier is a blend of Malbec (57%), Cabernet Franc (32%) & Petit Verdot (11%). The lots for this wine were aged separately in a combination of American and French oak before blending and bottling. As with the Shiraz I looked at yesterday this wine is part of Spier Vineyard ShotSpier's Vintage Selection series. It's suggested retail is $20 but i can be located for closer to $15. The Cabernet Franc in this blend is the first varietal that makes it's presence known due to the big nose it provides. The Bouquet is one of leather and tobacco with subtler berry notes underneath. The first couple of sips find this wine to be tight and tart out of the bottle. Decanting is a necessity with this wine right now to get the most out of it. An hour at minimum is recommended. Once it has a chance to open though you'll be rewarded with a huge burst of bright cherry fruit. The finish is long and spicy featuring white pepper and hints of nutmeg.

With this wine Spier presents an intriguing blend. From the Cabernet Franc's strong aromatic nose, the Malbec's meaty and chewy mid-palate to the solid backbone supplied by the Petit Verdot this is a diverse wine. It probably needs another 8-12 months in the bottle to fully resolves itself and come together as one. It's enjoyable right now, especially after decanting a long while. But If you have the patience to hold on to it for a year or two you'll be happy when you pop the cork. After that it should drink well until about 2013.

In general I found the Spier Wines I tasted to be well balanced and food friendly.

Up Next: Lunch with Pieter Malan of Simonsig Family Winery

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