Badenhorst Family Wines The Curator Red 2011: Re-taste of this South African value wine.
In first tasting notes six weeks ago, I wrote the wine significantly improved with air, losing its boisterousness and smoothing out to become really delicious, resembling a northern Rhône effort. A revisit, allowing for 45 minutes in decanter, with occasional swirling, then pour into large glass and more swirling, confirms the efficacy of this treatment. My earlier review noted: “pepper, juicy cherry, black cherry, sour cherry, plum, vanilla, riff of rhubarb on the finish.” I don’t get the sour cherry on the decanted tasting and struggle for the rhubarb, too. Across the board, everything is smoother and an even more harmonious easy drinker; tannin and acidity are bit more than I noted in my first notes, but I count that as a virtue. The mellowing and harmony is what you expect with decanting, and a reason to almost always consider decanting, especially with reds. Since decanting is not something the majority of drinkers do, I generally build my opinion on pull-and-pour first glass, although I do use large glass, swirl a lot, and often decant for second pour and evaluation (did not decant The Curator first time around, but did give it time in glass after first taste). Adi Badenhorst is an iconic Swartland maker working granite-sand vineyards growing vines that are 60-plus years old in places; this high-value effort reflects his skill and the quality of his vines. The Curator is not a complex, astonishing wine; it is an astonishing value and example of why you should think about South African wines your next trip to the wine store. $9-12