96 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
This superb, ageworthy Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Cabernet Franc hails from three vineyards in the Helderberg and one in the Polkadraai Hills. Violet and thyme aromas lead to a structured palate of cassis, dried herbs, with intense tannins and fine 75% new wood. 2023-35
Made from selected parcels of Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards planted on the north-western facing slopes of the Helderberg mountain and south-eastern facing slope of the Polkadraai Hills. These parcels of excellent Cabernet Sauvignon grow on a combination of deep decomposed granite soils with Table Mountain sandstone and “koffieklip”. The mild maritime influences from the cool False Bay coast and granitic soils are evident in this wine’s hallmark minerality and classic graphite-like profile.
The 2019 vintage is characterised by the long ripening period, which extended the harvest well into April. The cooler night temperatures towards the end of February and few heatwaves meant longer hang times, allowing further fruit flavour development without sacrificing freshness and acidity. These conditions certainly influenced the final wine, which shows classic Cabernet Sauvignon freshness and a typical grainy tannin structure.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is our 6th Stellenbosch vintage. This wine’s ever-increasing quality is evident in that we have gained a greater understanding of the Stellenbosch vineyards and terroir. The 2019 vintage was again vinified entirely at Boekenhoutskloof in tulip-shaped concrete tanks with élevage on our OXOline 2 system. The changes in vinification and élevage significantly impacted the style, resulting in a more refined claret-like structure with dark fruits and graphite.
The nose is opulent, rich and ripe, offering intense aromas of brambles, mulberry, dark cherries and classic cassis. The abundant red and blackberry fruit of the nose follows through with spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, with hints of molasses, espresso and fine cocoa adding to the complexity of a layered, generous, powerful palate. The medium-bodied mid-palate is structured and concentrated, yet supple, elegant and lithe with its abundance of pure, lush, poised fruit, balanced with mouthwatering, bright acidity and ultra-fine, polished tannins. The wine finishes dry and focused, with cigar box, pencil lead and charry tobacco lingering.