Faithful Hound

2017 Mulderbosch's Faithful Hound

Talk about the best sympathy gift you can give the wine lover who’s lost a dog. Toby and I used to have two Rottweilers, and they were pretty much the sweetest dogs ever (seriously, they were!) We had a boy and a girl (brother and sister).

Well, when they turned 10, Hera, the female, started limping very badly. It turned out she had excruciating bone cancer, so she didn’t last long at all after diagnosis. One of our dearest friends who loved our dogs like her own sent us this bottle of wine so we could raise a glass in remembrance of Hera.

Fast forward a short six months, and we had to put our Thor, the male, down because of what was scientifically suspected as cancer but more than likely a broken heart. About a year after Thor passed, we visited the friend who sent the wine when Hera died. I casually said something about “when Thor died,” and she began sobbing. At first, I didn’t understand why, but when she finally regained her voice, she told me she didn’t know Thor had died. OOPS! She proceeded to scold me because I should have known I didn’t tell her since I didn’t receive another bottle of Faithful Hound wine from her.

Overly emotional friends aside, this is the perfect gift for a grieving dog lover. Or maybe just any old dog lover. Or perhaps just any old wine lover!

From the winemaker: For the first time the Faithful Hound blend has Merlot as the lead variety, just a few percent more than Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The nose is full of brooding, earthy aromas. Brambles, cocoa, forest floor. It clearly shows the Merlot contribution in the muted aromas compared to a more Cabernet dominant blend.

Finely textured tannins and savoury flavours such as cured ham and dried porcini mark the palate. The 2017 is a wine of nuance rather than outright power. There’s plenty of depth of flavour, and the palate unfolds evenly, revealing a well-balanced, moreish blend. Given the quality of the vintage and the provenance of the fruit, this is definitely a vintage that will reward further cellaring.

One final thing to note is that if you are raising your glass to your damn good dog (or dawg like we say here in Georgia), you had better make sure it’s a damn good glass…and then clean it with this.