Some wines you drink because they taste amazing. Some wines you drink for the nostalgia value – there’s a special memory or association attached to it. And sometimes, there’s that magic combination of both, something I’m pleased to have found in the wonderful Mulderbosch Faithful Hound.

The picture and name on Faithful Hound allude to the story of a dog, who waited three years for his master (killed in a car accident) to return, only to eventually pass away itself. A very poignant tale, but one which my family applied to our own pooch, Copper (a faithful hound if there ever was one). As such, it became a staple in our household, and continuously impressed guests with its rich flavor, and universal likeability. Continuously, that is, until it stopped showing up in Ontario liquor stores. Thankfully, Faithful Hound has returned, and I’m finally able to give the 2012 vintage the review it deserves.

Faithful Hound Wine

Faithful Hound Tasting Notes

Honestly, I love this wine deeply, and its history with my family may influence my bias. But this appreciation extends to many people tasting Faithful Hound for the first time. Faithful Hound is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. It sits brooding and dark purple-tinged ruby in the glass, clear and viscous. On the nose is an orchestra of cedar spice, dark cherries, and tobacco. Put simply, this wine smells damn good.

Once sipped, this wine opens explosively with big cherry notes, sweet vanilla, dark chocolate and – most profoundly – rich, thick charcoal smoke. It is the unique smokiness of this wine which makes it a classic. Many South Aftrican wines possess a smoky quality, but few are able to balance it as wonderfully with the array of complex flavours Faithful Hound has. There’s also an interesting olive-brine hint to it, although it stays far away from being sour. Faithful Hound finishes sweet and woody, lingering for quite some time. With it’s nice tannic structure, I think the 2012 could be cellared for some time, although it’s perfectly adequate to drink now.

This year, my own faithful hound Copper passed away. I miss him terribly, but it was no little consolation to see Faithful Hound wine once again on the shelves. There’s no telling how long it will be there, so I recommend grabbing a bottle while you can, and sipping it mighty slow.

My own Faithful Hound
My own faithful hound, Copper. Photo courtesy of Christine Bonk.