Le Riche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Tasting Notes

Winery: Le Riche
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
SKU: LERRESCAB2020 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml


Out of stock


99 pts Tim Atkin MW 2023
In a year when the 2022 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign has flopped because of high prices, Cabernet Sauvignon lovers would be well advised to buy a case or two of this world-class red from a family that’s rightly associated with high-class Stellenbosch alternatives to the wines of the Médoc. One of the best-ever reds from the region, made with components from five different vineyards, this has an incredible perfume of mountain herbs, fennel and coffee beans, layered, patrician tannins, amazing energy and density and a fruit bowl of plum, damson, blueberry and blackcurrant. What a wine! The Latour of South Africa. 2026-2040.

98 pts Wine Advocate Dec 2023
Profoundly impressive with a devastatingly gorgeous nose, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is an instant champion of Stellenbosch Cabernet. Offering a beautifully structured nose with layers of complexity, this stunning Cabernet is wrapped in elegance and finesse. Medium to full-bodied and made using about 75% new French oak, there is no shortage of hedonistic pleasure on the palate. As the wine uncoils—I know it’s too young—I just can’t put down my glass. Give it two or three more years in the bottle, and I bet you’ll also have difficulty putting your glass down. Only 12,000 bottles of this world-class Cabernet were produced, and it will have no challenges aging for 30 years. Wow, what a stunning Cabernet! 2026-2050.

97+ pts Greg Shrewood MW
The 2020 is a 65% blend of Helderberg Coastal Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Single Vineyard and 13% Helderberg Mountain Single Vineyard fruit that was aged in 76% new French oak barrels for 24 months. The Le Riche Reserve classification is endowed only on the very finest quality wines that live up to exceptional standards. This 2020 is a deep dark garnet-purple in colour and the aromatics take some time to unfurl in the glass before revealing an impressively flamboyant core of classical Cabernet Sauvignon fruit notes of pressed violets, black cherry preserve, earthy black currant, baked black plums with subtle hints of dark chocolate, graphite, iron filings, pencil shavings and hoisin plum sauce. Medium bodied and noticeably suave and elegant, the palate texture is fine grained and silky with an accessible generosity, creamy plush tannins, chocolate praline, wood spice and a long, showy, piquant salty finish that is compact, polished and impressively persistent. Etienne and Christo Le Riche think this is one of their best Reserve Cabernet’s produced yet, and considering its refinement and precision, they may well be right. Start drinking in 2 to 3 years’ time and over the next 15 to 20+ years.

97 pts Decanter World Wine Awards ‘Best in Show’ 2023
Things come, things go, fashions turn … but, year after year, Stellenbosch quietly gets on with producing some of the Southern Hemisphere’s most assured Cabernet Sauvignon. We had an example among our Platinum winners last year, so it was satisfying to see a Best in Show contender this year, and this graceful and accomplished wine didn’t take long to win its place in the Top 50. It’s dark black-red in the glass, with serenely curranty scents teased to perfect ripeness and lent dimension by oak without any overt woody stamp obtruding on that fruited charm. The wine exhibits a perfect combination of weight, muscle and energy in the mouth: it’s every inch the athlete. At the end of the palate, though, that singing, lyrical fruit returns before tapering off in a finish that leaves the mouth clean and fresh yet hoping for more. Spot on.

94 pts Wine Mag June 2023
Christo le Riche of Le Riche Wines is remarkably forthright about the 2020 vintage saying that it delivered “less structure but good flavour development” compared to the stellar 2019.Le Riche says his Reserve is intended as “the best expression of Stellenbosch Cab that we possibly can put together”, 65% of the grapes for the 2020 sourced from Helderberg Coastal (three vineyards in the vicinity of Firgrove and Raithby), 22% from Simonsberg and 13% from Helderberg while maturation lasted 24 months in oak barrels, 76% new. Alc: 14.97%. The nose shows red and black berries, fresh herbs, tobacco, some smoky reduction, pencil shavings and oak spice while the palate has luscious fruit, bright acidity and fine-grained tannins – great depth but not quite as well-honed as its immediate predecessor.

Winemaker Notes

Reserve status is only endowed if the grapes and resulting wine measures up to exceptional standard. Hand selected grapes from older, lower yielding vines are used. Fermentation is done with a selected yeast strain under controlled temperatures. Manual plunging during this period ensures optimal colour extraction. After seven days the tanks are closed and allowed to macerate for a further period, normally 10-14 days. Pressing follows and the wine is transferred to barrel for natural secondary fermentation. After a year in barrel, the individual batches are blended to form the final wine and returned to barrel for another year. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Matured in bottle for one year before release.

Classic Cabernet aromas of blackcurrants, black cherry and cassis. Brooding and dense yet showing great freshness on the nose. Lead pencil shavings and cedar aromas add to the overall sophistication and elegance. On entry the palate is rich, velvety and opulent yet remarkably fresh and linear showcasing black fruit, a creamy mouthfeel and dark chocolate finish. A deliciously firm, appetising acidity is balanced by round, structured tannins. A wine with a wonderfully long, complex finish showcasing great potential for maturation; A true investment. One of our best vintages yet

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