The wines in the final blend come from vineyards stretching from Jonkershoek to Helderberg. They offer a true snapshot of premium Stellenbosch cabernet. No wonder it bagged five stars in the 2020 Platter’s Wine Guide.
• Available in a wooden six-bottle collector’s box for R2,700 (R450 a bottle), visit Wade Bales.
2. THE. CABERNET FRANC 2015
This varietal has a low profile in SA, especially bottled on its own. But the collaboration, now in its second vintage, between Niels Verburg, of Luddite Wines outside the Overberg town of Bot River, and Brian Smith, of Elgin Ridge Wines in the Elgin Valley, aims to change that.
Fruit was sourced from a vineyard near Bot River on a site where "the soils are really good for red wine", Verburg says. "We’re warm without being as hot as Stellenbosch, so we don’t get the greenness that cab franc gets in other areas."
It’s naturally fermented, aged in French barrique barrels, and Christian Eedes of Winemag describes a palate of "luscious fruit and quite soft, fine tannins". In short, it’s been given all the love and attention you’d expect for R5,000 a bottle.