Having given their Barbera (poor Barbera) something of a mauling, last time round, I offered Marks & Spencer the chance to win me over. So I picked up a bottle of Knockon Wood — a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinotage — in the expectation of a little South African charm. The fact that it was on special offer merely sweetened the deal.
As it turns out, though, I didn’t exactly get South African charm; I got South African wine-porn.
So, first off, this is a BIG wine. You know what I mean. It’s 14.5% big.
During its stay in your mouth, it starts off soft. Then gets much harder. Then softens again, with a valedictory burst of cream. And if you thought I was talking about anything other than wine there, WASH YOUR MIND OUT, YOU SORDID INDIVIDUAL.
There’s a dusty, musky, polishy depth to the wine, and it’s full across the tongue — with a wide, rhubarby blare of flavour. As the crescendo of flavours peaks and eases into diminuendo, there’s that aforementioned creamy finish, thanks to a good hoof of oak. Maybe a little much for my taste.
The coexistence of acid sharpness, musky depth and smooth oak is an interesting one. Ripe blackberries and cream. The wine has quite an unctuous quality, accompanied by caramel, tar, cedar…
Like I say, this is a big boy of a wine. It’s confident. It’s smooth. And we had fun.
But (as its pornographic qualities might attest) it’s not the classiest. There’s something rather unrefined about its strutting exhibitionism: those flavours could be tied together more effectively. The whole job could be handled rather more subtly, y’know? As it is, there’s something of the wham-bang-thank-you-ma’am to it.
Then again — um — maybe you’re not looking for subtle porn.
Price £12.99 from Marks & Spencer (currently reduced to £10.99)