Hailing from the impressive 2017 vintage which critics claim to be one of the finest in the last three decades, this wine has its origin in a 19 year old single vineyard block and is limited to a 1,000 bottle blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon finished with 8% Petit Verdot, aged for 22 months in 65 % new French oak barriques with medium and ‘house’ toast selections.
The block lies on the crest of a spur between two valleys, benefitting from 400 million years of exposure to the elements. The soil is a perfect mix of clay, derived from ancient decomposed granite and gravel that has its origins from Table Mountain Sandstone that crumbled and weathered in a slow march down the face of the Simonsberg Mountain.
In this instance, clay with its great affinity to binding water holds the vines on a knife-edge of water stress offering up only that which they demand as the transpiration rates increase during the warmer ripening season. The effect is very slow ripening of tannins and stronger tannin structure overall. The gravel which punctuates the soil profile down to at least 2.5 m serves as a great moderator – decreasing the clay percentage and allowing appropriate softening of the
tannins to coincide with sugar ripeness.
Harvest takes place in two passes each respecting the natural variability that arises from subtle differences in the soil across the block, which is monitored and confirmed by NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) each season. The clusters are hand picked and cooled overnight in a cold-room to 5°C before destemming and hand sorting.
Fermentation occurs in two bespoke small raw concrete tanks. Pre- and post-fermentation maceration ensures gentle but complete extraction from the skins and allows for softer handling of the cap during the peak of ferment. Only the free run component is taken to a selection of French oak barriques, the cooperage selection being determined through fastidious trials which began in 2005.
This young Cabernet displays an impressively perfumed nose with subtle potpourri and cassis notes, violets and hints of lavender. Classic minerality is tightly interwoven with attractive blackberry nuances and expressive graphite undertones. The palate is lithe and particularly rich with a polished, luxurious finish. There is already impressive complexity coupled with a modicum of classical restraint.
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