2015 was an exceptional year in South Africa for both red and white wines. The 2015 Marvelous Blue draws inspiration from the classic Bordeaux varieties. It’s a deeply colored wine that retains a bright, vital appearance.
Taking the lead in the 2015 blend is Cabernet Franc sourced from Stellenbosch and Elgin, followed by Elgin sourced Merlot. Cool Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of blueberries, cassis, and moist tobacco are supported by invigorating cedar wood notes.
The ﬁnely structured palate, with its thread of acidity, thanks to the inclusion of Stellenbosch Petit Verdot, displays a deep well of ﬂavor long on Cabernet Franc herbal notes and juicy Merlot and Malbec fruit. The savory notes of forest ﬂoor are offset by a dense, sweet-fruited appeal and an almost balsamic reduction creating a penetrating, lifted ﬁnish.
Our winemaking approach relies on the use of minimal intervention, rather focusing on identifying unique vineyard sites and striving to harvest as early in the season as possible in pursuit of naturally balanced wines.
Whilst all the wines are matured to some degree in oak barrels, we chose to use ‘neutral’ or older oak casks so as not to overwhelm the varietal grape flavors with that of powerful new oak. (Understanding the complexity of the winemaking process but knowing when not to interfere is a Marvelous approach).
Marvelous Wines to celebrate the spirit of wonder that has accompanied wine throughout the ages. We firmly believe that wine does not have to be over-complicated in order to be great. Rather the choice of occasion and selection of wine to accompany that occasion have the ability to turn an average experience into something great. (Don’t settle for ordinary, chose to be Marvelous!).
Cabernet Franc: 33%
Cabernet Sauvignon: 20%
Petit Verdot: 8%
Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/L
Titratable acid: 5.2 g/L
Volatile acidity: .6 g/L
SO2: 19/65 mg/L
Included in the Box
4x 2015 Marvelous Blue Red Blend, South Africa
12x 2015 Marvelous Blue Red Blend, South Africa
$360 for a Case/$30 MSRP/Not for sale on the website
A desire to produce affordable, freshly styled wines from the incredible diversity of vineyards across the Western Cape resulted in the creation of Marvelous Wines. (Dreaming a concept and seeing it to fruition is a Marvelous feeling).
The wines are boldly labelled using a striking woodcut font that harks back to an era of artisanal printing techniques, much the same way in which each of these wines celebrates a classic winemaking style. (Celebrating tradition whilst embracing change is a Marvelous point of view).
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
@netcommsyn At first I was inclined to disagree with you. I’m no Advocate of Wine Spectator (90 point wines are not objectively better than 89, why start a 100 point scale at 50 and why not use the bottom third of your distribution?) but I made a New Year’s Resolution to avoid disparaging the things that annoy me (hand sanitizer hoarders, Millennials, Winter rain, etc.) First of all, keep in mind that interpreting Wine Spectator’s own score range is far more useful than the precise point value:
Now, controlling for region (California only) and comparing 2015 reviews to 2019 seems to confirm your point. In 2015 the majority of wines (1,358) scored ‘Very Good’, but by 2019 the majority (1,257) scored ‘Outstanding’, with the median of the distribution increasing by 6 percentage points:
I tried controlling for price, removing the cheap swill that I usually drink, but this exacerbated the difference. It only removed about 15% of reviews in either year, and in 2019 a whopping 66% of WS wines reviewed were rated ‘Outstanding’. Outstanding indeed!
Not sure why there is so much pessimism around here. Dow futures are up 3%, looks like it is going to be an up day! I don’t really care whether or not y’all buy the wine, but a Cab Franc lead Bordeaux blend from a far off place that has good weather and geology for $11 seems a pretty small risk in these uncertain times.
@TimW So does that make this South African wine more or less risky than those 30 US stocks?
PS Apologies to all the retired (or nearly retired, or would-have-been retired) folks out there who are watching their years of hard-earned savings dive. I’m young enough to see this as a tremendous opportunity but I know many don’t (or can’t) see it that way!
I’m always cautious about wines from South Africa. While they seem (to me) to have improved over the years, I have too many memories of “burnt rubber” (or as a former “wine guy” at my Trader Joe’s called it, “Curad bandaid”) flavor.
@Mark_L That’s an older take on SA wines, when there were virus-infected vines and sizable amounts of uncredited Pinotage in the red blends, which is what contributed to the tastes you describe. Mulderbosch (who makes this wine) is a first-rate producer.
@borisgoodenough@kaolis@Mark_L There is no question that South African wines have improved considerably, and can be very good. I’ve had several, mostly in restaurants (a South African place in NYC had several good ones) or gifts from friends who’d traveled to SA and tasted wines there and had learned about outstanding producers to look for and wines to consider and wines to avoid.
Nonetheless, I think a certain amount of caution is only prudent given the history of so much very bad South African wine that found its way to world markets. I’ve actually heard the ‘Curad bandage’ description before…
Information like the overall high reputation of the producer here (Mulderbosch) is the kind of thing we need to know. Others with more experience of South African wines, please weigh in!
@Mark_L I agree they’ve improved, but it’s hard to forget some of those in the old days that gave (me) a distinct impression of old railroad ties. But I’ve never been a real fan of Cab F., so with an overloaded cellar, this is easy to pass up.