The nose is delicate and refined, shy and very brooding at first, yet alluring with intense dark berry fruit and classic graphite aromas. The entry is smooth and silky, with flavours of blueberries, blackberries, dark liquorice and garrigue adding complexity to a dense, well-structured mid-palate. The wine is richly textured, concentrated, austere and elegant, with its powdery, dusty, fine-grained tannins, fresh acidity to balance an attractive herbaceous streak. Boysenberry and cocoa powder linger in the mouth, with gentle hints of aniseed and black cardamom.
Grapes for our Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon are picked from individual vineyards planted adjacent to one another, grown from deep alluvial soils of the valley, and from our own farm vineyards, on decomposed granitic soils found on slopes surrounding Boekenhoutskloof. The Cabernet Sauvignon and a small portion of Cabernet Franc vineyards planted at Boekenhoutskloof have been organically farmed for 12 years now and produce exceptional quality fruit, with each ongoing vintage. This vintage is particularly exciting since we decided to use even more fruit from these organically farmed vineyards.
Franschhoek had, once again, a very different season to Stellenbosch and the Swartland. Fairly good rainfall replenished all water reserves and coupled with a high diurnal range, this vintage was considered a viticulturally extreme year. An early spring brought an even bud burst and great fruit set. Despite the challenging conditions, organic farming practices were exercised to control disease and fungal pressures. The 2020 vintage is, by comparison, a ripe vintage for Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon, but also very European-like in elegance, brightness, and perfume.
We vinify gently to avoid huge, monstrous wines. Grapes were picked by hand into small lug boxes and then bunch sorted with berry selection and careful de-stemming. The grapes underwent a cold maceration in tulip-shaped concrete vessels, and fermentation took place at temperatures between 27° and 30°C, with frequent pump-overs to extract aromas, colour and tannins. After spontaneous alcoholic fermentation, a prolonged malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in 225-litre barriques. The wine was matured on our OXOline system for 22 months in 80% new light toast, long seasoned French oak from our preferred coopers, Sylvain and Saury.