David Finlayson GS Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Tasting Notes

If you could imagine great Pauillac meeting glorious Napa Valley Cab in your glass….then you might truly have the perfect “bridge between two worlds”. This is we like to tell people when attempt to place South Africa’s wine style in context. Old World meets New World….in your glass. Jancis Robinson reckons the 1966 vintage of this wine was the “best Bordeaux red she tried from that year, from anywhere”. 1968 was also a great vintage. The owner off this farm died several years later, sadly, before his wine achieved international acclaim as the best red wine ever produced in South Africa. Bittersweet! In 2008 our producer David Finlayson, convinced the owner’s daughter to let him make a Cab, in honor of her late father, George Spies (GS). It’s one of the most wonderful stories of our industry – the reincarnation of greatness – a true category leader. World class wine with an equally impressive story! David is the quintessential “garagiste” and is focused on small production wines of high quality. His barrel shed for this wine, is an old decommissioned, refrigerated rail car, once used for the transportation of milk. He sunk it into a hillside behind the winery and today it houses his barrels of GS Cab.

Winery: David Finlayson
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
SKU: 13242 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml


Out of stock


94 pts John Platter  Honors George Spies & his legendary 1960s cabs. Strict barrel selection from single clone, 15 (94 pts) vibrant & opulent with deep blackcurrant & mulberry , crushed green herb, dusting of cocoa, intense, smooth & age worthy, like 14 *****.

91 pts Wine Enthusiast – There’s an assertive, decadently mentholated note at the fore of this wine’s bouquet, redolent of Thin Mints and cocoa-dusted brandied cherries, with notes of cassis and black currant leaf as well. The palate is suave and attractive, with a texture like crushed satin and lingering rich berry flavors that are framed by fine yet structured tannins and a solid dose of sweet spice. LAUREN BUZZEO

90 pts Wine Spectator – (9/30/19) Crushed strawberry and licorice flavors are vibrant and focused in this medium- to full-bodied version, with herbal and spice notes adding another dimension. Substantial yet elegant, with a hint of graphite on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2026. 500 cases made, 200 cases imported. — AZ

90 pts Tim Atkin – Big, bold, serious and strapping, this is a richly oaked, concentrated Cabernet with lots of weight and alcohol and fine-grained tannins. This has the right components, but needs to come together in the bottle. 2020-28

Winemaker Notes

Grapes from this special site are hand picked in small boxes before being berry sorted at the winery. Usually there’s not much sorting necessary as these pea-sized berries and tiny bunches are typically in perfect condition. Alcoholic fermentation is done in closed tanks, with cultured yeasts. Only the free run juice is used to make GS – (bag) pressed juice is separated and used for his lower tier Cab. Maceration lasts 14 – 21 days, with pump overs twice daily. Once ready, wine is racked to medium toast French oak barrels (50% new & 50% 2nd fill) where is stays for 24 months. During this time it receives only 1 racking. Coarse filtration and Vegecol fining are done, along with a tiny sulfur adjustment, pre bottling. This is a wine made to be a benchmark amongst SA Cabernet Sauvignons, while not being the more typical greener style of many Stellenbosch Cabs, but rather riper, more fruit driven. It is built to last multiple decades.

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