This wine, although now reconstructed from the original Cordoba label, was one of South Africa’s first icon/cult wines in the 1990’s. Cordoba closed its doors and in 2017 the Oddo family purchased the farm and its vineyards and started the process of building a winery around the estate’s original vineyards, many of which had still been maintained and the fruit sold to other local wineries. Situated high up on the lower slopes of the Helderberg Mountain the grapes are farmed organically and great care is taken to work in harmony with the farm’s natural environment. Due to trademark issues the Cordoba label couldn’t be used so the winery was renamed Taaibosch, after the indigenous fynbos species that grows on the estate. From boots on the ground in South Africa the word has been that the recreation/reintroduction of the Crescendo label was one of the most highly anticipated events in the South African wine industry last year. In its maiden release, under new ownership and a new name, this classy Bordeaux blend, heavily influenced with Cabernet Franc as the driving component, has come out swinging for the fences. Some have even called it South Africa’s take on Chateau Cheval Blanc, one of Bordeaux’s more highly acclaimed red wines, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot being the leading components of the blend.
97 pts Tim Atkin MW
Very few recent South African releases have been as eagerly awaited as this 2018 red from the old Cordoba property on the flank of the Helderberg. And it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Cabernet Franc-centred, with 24% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, the new crescendo is a beautifully refined, detailed red from 21-year-old vines. Violet and cut grass aromas lead into a palate that is fresh, bright and comparatively low in alcohol with filigree tannins, subtle wood, fine tension and the focus and balance to age. What a début! 2024-32
95 pts Greg Sherwood MW
This is of course the first release of the rejuvenated and replanted Cordoba estate under the watchful eye of Schalk Willem Joubert. Shows a dark dense nose of brûléed black berry fruits, coffee bean, espresso and sweet cedar spice. The palate is elegant but robust and powerful with grippy tannins, graphite spice, concentrated black currant fruit and an impressive stony mineral length. Bury this in your cellar for 10 years minimum. It will reward patience!
5 Star 2022 Platter Wine Guide (95 pts)
Great value at the highest level in 18 (95 pts). 65% cad franc with merlot, & 5% cedary cab adding to the fine, firm structure. Plush & intense dark fruit resolves with air into complex & lovely wine – but deserves many years in bottle. Subtly matured in 9,000L & 225L oak & cement.
94 pts Wine Enthusiast March 2022
This is the maiden release from a new project, a resurrection of sorts of the famed Cordoba Crescendo wines of the late 1990s. A blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is dense and concentrated yet balanced and pure. It takes time to fully express in the glass now, but with patience it reveals enticing aromas of brambly berry, black currant, blackberry leaf, crushed violet, graphite and pencil shavings. The medium-weight palate shows a seam of purity, with a granitic minerality that weaves throughout the ripe berry fruits and lands with a saline kiss on the long close. Built for aging; enjoy 2027–2041.