A classic Simonsberg Cabernet, exuding a sense of coolness, despite the warm vintage conditions. A perfumed nose filled with notes of blackcurrants, fennel, cigar box, tea leaf and “fynbos” shrub. The palate is delicate and fresh, with an austere old-world charm about it. Grainy tannins compliment the earthy profile, with subtle hints of liquorice on the lengthy finish.
5 Stars 2021 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Cape classic released a year later than Paul Sauer, needing time to show its best. Dark & brooding 16 (95 pts) has aristocratically austere edge to its cassis & cigarbox notes & full-flavoured generosity. Absorbs 50% new oak easily; big tannins not formidable even in youth.
94+ pts Greg Shrewood MW
On opening, this 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was initially surprisingly taut, tight and broody with reductive notes of oyster shell, salty crème de cassis, black currant leaf, black chai tea, iodine and maritime salinity. But as I’ve discovered repeatedly over the past 12 months, the hot dry 2016 drought vintage did produce some really excellent red wines proving that exceptional terroir handled intelligently by an accomplished winemaker can trump even difficult vintage conditions. Given ample time to breath, the nose starts to reveal a growing intensity of black cherry, salty cassis and vibrant blueberry hints with a seductive underlay of cherry kirsch liquor. On the palate, the texture is sleek and polished with multiple waves of crème de cassis and blackberry fruits rising like a tide, finishing with a tangy concentration burst of acidity and mouthwatering fruit. Tannins are understated and powdery suggesting optimal phenolic ripeness. A really beautifully constructed wine with elegance, balance and supple accessibility. Drink on release with a bit of decanting or over 10-12+ years.
93 pts Tim Atkin MW 2020
Firm, serious, robust & showing little – but not too much – of the heat of the 2016 vintage, this was released a little later to allow it to soften in the bottle. Dense and compact with layers of damson and black cherry fruit and scented new oak. One to tuck away in the cellar. 2022-2028
91 pts Vinous
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has to shake off a bit of reduction, but eventually offers plenty of black fruit, pressed violets and light marine/seaweed aromas. The medium-bodied palate delivers fine-grained tannins and a mixture of red and black fruit laced with tobacco and white pepper, leading to an elegant and quite persistent finish. There’s some quality winemaking on show here.
90 pts Wine Spectator
Hints of dried flowers and mint play on the crème de cassis and black cherry flavors in this elegant red, which is fresh and medium-bodied, with fine tannins and notes of espresso, star anise and smoke wafting on the lingering, lightly chewy finish. Drink now through 2026. 4,000 cases made, 314 cases imported
90 pts Wine Advocate June 2022
Possessing a deep magenta core with a dark ruby edge, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon emanates with aromas of brown baking spices from the 50% new French oak, followed by a dusty profile of dark red fruits with hints of dried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is similar to a young Bordeaux from a warm vintage, with fleshy fruit and firm tannins that grip the gumline. The wine displays a long, complex finish that should last past its 15th birthday. Be sure to have some roasted meats on hand to enjoy with this lovely bottle. Give it a try. 2021-2032
The cold weather arrived late, with below average rainfall resulting in low soil moisture and dam levels .The budburst period was very dry, placing a lot of strain on the vines and causing a reduction in the amount of berries per bunch and the resulting crop size. Very warm and dry during the harvest period, with minimal wind damage and disease.
Fermentation took place in open top concrete fermenters at 290C. The floating skins were punched down by hand, every 2 hours during fermentation. The juice was drawn off the skins after 5 days. After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured for 24 months in 50% new and 50% second fill 225L French Nevers oak barrels.