With all the hype about the GS Cab, David wanted to make a more approachable and affordable Cab, that still offers up cellar worthiness and seriousness. Making great Cabernet is a passion of David’s and his experience, while working the 1995 harvest at Chateau Margaux taught him much. David learned the process of working better with tannin ripeness and softer, and more selective pressing regimens. He also learnt a lot about terroir and the importance of finding the clones that work best for particular areas, like his. The problem of course there is that such decisions take a long time to produce results that can then be considered benchmarks. He believes that he is slowly getting to that point, after more than 17 years on his Stellenbosch property, as the vines have reached maturity. Of course, using the declassified barrels from his GS project as the baseline material for this wine, is a great way to start out each vintage.
90 pts Wine Enthusiast
This is warming right off the bat, with intense aromas of high-toned cherry, macerated berries, crème de cassis and crushed violet. The palate is smooth and sultry at first, but then reveals a structured grip and an almost iron-like impression that lingers through the finish alongside pronounced licorice and ripe berry flavors.
90 pts Tim Atkin – Textbook Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon at a very appealing price, this is modern, fruity and stylishly oaked in 20% new barrels. Ripe cassis and blueberry flavors are complemented by mint and cedarwood notes. 2020-25
90pts John Platter (4.5 Stars) – Epitomizes new world Cab with pastille-like blackcurrant fruit, leavened with herbaceous, leafy, forest floor earthiness. 17 has ripe tannin structure & 14 months French oak, 30% new in support. Improves on 16, shows fine ageing potential.
89 pts Wine Spectator – Suave, exhibiting a racy profile, with flavors of red currant and licorice, accented by hints of vanilla and spice. Well-balanced and not too rich. Mineral and herbal details emerge on the finish. Best from 2022 through 2028. 1,500 cases made, 500 cases imported. — AZ
Sourced from the GS vineyard as well as a couple of other vineyards near Stellenbosch Mountain and then one in Somerset West, closer to the ocean. Important to note these are (leaf roll) virus free vineyards that average 20 years of age and yield about 3 ton per acre. The quality of this Cab fruit is almost always exceptional, requiring minimal bunch sorting. Alcoholic fermentation is done in 3,000 to 5,000 liter tanks and cultured yeasts are used. Bag pressing is the norm, although basket presses are the future. Post ferment maceration is done in closed tanks for 15 -20 days, to get color and concentration. During this time pump overs are done twice a day – softer than punch downs. Roughly two months after harvest, the wine is ready to be racked to (mainly used French) barrels, where it sits for about 16 months. during this time it is only racked once, unlike Bordeaux, where more racking is generally required to polymerize the tannins. The assemblage is done – with a view to creating a balance between new world fruitiness/ripeness and classic old world Cabernet character. A mix of drinkability and longevity. Coarse filtration and Vegecol (vegan friendly) fining, is don pre bottling.