4 Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
A near-equal varietal split in 20 (87 pts), showing savoury meat & tobacco over plum fruit. Ripe, well-managed tannins add texture & body, smoothed & refined by a year in seasoned oak.
Benefiting from diverse soil types, unpolluted air and free-flowing crystal-clear water, Cederberg Wines is situated at 1 036 meters above sea level in a virus free growing area. Consequently, 250 kilometers from Cape Town you will find the highest wine farm in the Western Cape. The climate is described as cool continental. In summer, expect a dramatic temperature drop at night; and, in winter, snow-capped mountains.
Merlot and Shiraz grapes are hand-harvested at 24–25 Balling and vinified separately. Grapes are cold soaked for two days before being inoculated with yeast. During fermentation, colour/flavour extraction takes place with regular pumpovers every six hours and a maximum temperature of 27°C is reached. Once malolactic fermentation is completed in tank, the wine is matured further in 225l French oak barrels for an additional 12 months. Blending of the wine only takes place after maturation. 54% Merlot and 46% Shiraz. 60% 3rd fill and 40% 4th fill barrels, medium and tight grain with medium and medium-plus toasting.
Merlot dominated but with Shiraz to soften the curve, producing a deliciously drinkable wine – approachable in its youth but will reward with some ageing. This wine shows an abundance of sweet, ripe red fruit such as bramble berries, raspberries and plump black cherries. Clever use of wood supports the fruit without overwhelming it. The soft accessible tannins make this a great wine for all occasions