Varietals: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cinsault, 18% Cabernet Franc
Tasting Note: This medium to full bodied wine has attractive aromas of mulberry leaves, cassis and cedar. These follow through on the palate which has a firm structure, grainy tannins, and hints of peppercorns and tobacco. The finish is dry, layered and long. Although surprisingly accessible now, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting if drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling and will reward if cellared properly over the next few decades. Best served at 16-18°C.
Source of Grapes: From one parcel of 38 year old dry farmed bush vine Cabernet Sauvignon planted in deep alluvial soils of Stellenbosch; one 117 year old dry farmed bush vine Cinsault vineyard (South Africa’s oldest registered Red Wine Vineyard) planted in deep sandy alluvial soils in Wellington; one parcel of 95 year old (SA’s 2nd oldest registered Red Wine Vineyard) dry farmed bush vine Cinsault planted on the lower eastern slopes of Franschhoek mountains; and a parcel of high altitude Cabernet Franc planted on the mid slopes of the Helderberg mountain in Stellenbosch.
Date(s) Harvested: Grapes were hand-harvested between 11 February and 18 March 2017
Yields: 2 – 7 tons/ha = 12 – 42 HL/ha
Winemaking: Grapes are cooled in our cold room then destemmed into tank. The final blend is with 50% whole clusters. Minimal sulphur is added, and no further additions are made. The must is initially pigeaged once a day. After about 4 days fermentation begins without inoculation and the wine is pigeaged twice a day. Temperatures are not allowed to exceed 28°C. Fermentation lasts from 7 to 10 days. After fermentation, a couple of weeks skin contact is given and the wine is then drained and pressed to barrel. The wines are racked and blended mid-way through the year, and bottled after 20 months in barrel
Maturation: 12 months in 500L French oak barrels; 30% new, then blended into seasoned 2000L Foudre for a further 8 months.
Tim Atkin 96/100: Co-fermented where possible, according to Chris Mullineux, this is the third vintage of this subtle, refined Western Cape cuvée of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 26% Cinsault and 18% Cabernet Franc. It’s a very complete, self-assured wine with layered tannins, grassy red berry fruit, fine balance and crunchy acidity. A true modern classic. 2021-27
Intended as ‘deconstruction/reconstruction of venerable Cape wines of the past’, hence cab & cinsaut (56/26), with cab franc supplying leafy top note in 2017. Intense berry & plum aromas & flavours, fine tannin/acid structure for decade-plus ageing. Dryland vineyards, some up to 119 years old. Natural ferment, as all. Magnums too.