Cultivar / Cabernet Sauvignon

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BLANKbottle B.I.G. 2019

R310.01 inc. VAT
"The Swartland Revolution was exactly that: a revolution initiated by Swartland farmers which turned the premium wine market upside down. Suddenly premium higher-priced Bordeaux-style Stellenbosch wines had to share the stage with premium Rhone-style Swartland blends. And so it happened then, that for the past 8 years, the media stuck Cabernet Sauvignon in a dark and dusty corner - not “cool” enough. As some of you might know, at the moment I make wine from 24 varieties. I thought it a bright idea to do something for the neglected, fallen-from-grace Cabernet Sauvignon. I subsequently identified 8 Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, 2 Cabernet franc and 1 Petit Verdot with vastly different heights above sea level: 7 near Somerset West (at 32 to 391 m), 2 on the outskirts of Tulbagh (both at 310 m) and 2 in the Witzenberg’s Koue Bokkeveld (at 734 and 755m). When I first started speaking to the masters of Cabernet here at the Southernmost tip of Africa, the first thing mentioned by most was the dreaded Greenness in Cabernet Sauvignon - a very unwelcome herbaceous / vegetative character. This develops due to high levels of Pyrazines present in the wine - something that's determined by the ripeness level of the grapes. The longer the grape bunches get exposed to sunlight during the growing period, the less Pyrazines - resulting in less greenness in the end product - reducing herbaceousness and amplifying fruit. Here in South Africa we have a unique situation: although we have plenty of sunshine, it is hot and dry. In most instances, by the time the grapes are ripe for picking, it hasn't had long enough sun exposure for the Pyrazines to get to an acceptable level. And if you leave it on the vine for longer, the sugar level gets too high. These sugars are then transformed during fermentation into alcohol resulting in rather high alcoholic wines. So in general, Cabernet creators are in fact chased by the Green Monster. Defended by some, feared by most. What confuses me, though, is that one could argue that this greenness is a stylistic characteristic of wines closer to the ocean, which makes it acceptable. Or does it? Where the exact point lies where herbaceousness turns into greenness - I am not sure. That’s why I decided to make a Cabernet Sauvignon led blend and identified the following 11 vineyards from different heights above sea levels. The closest vineyard to the ocean is 3km and the furthest 3 hours drive." Producer's note

BLANKbottle B.I.G. Magnum 2019

R630.00 inc. VAT
"The Swartland Revolution was exactly that: a revolution initiated by Swartland farmers which turned the premium wine market upside down. Suddenly premium higher-priced Bordeaux-style Stellenbosch wines had to share the stage with premium Rhone-style Swartland blends. And so it happened then, that for the past 8 years, the media stuck Cabernet Sauvignon in a dark and dusty corner - not “cool” enough. As some of you might know, at the moment I make wine from 24 varieties. I thought it a bright idea to do something for the neglected, fallen-from-grace Cabernet Sauvignon. I subsequently identified 8 Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, 2 Cabernet franc and 1 Petit Verdot with vastly different heights above sea level: 7 near Somerset West (at 32 to 391 m), 2 on the outskirts of Tulbagh (both at 310 m) and 2 in the Witzenberg’s Koue Bokkeveld (at 734 and 755m). When I first started speaking to the masters of Cabernet here at the Southernmost tip of Africa, the first thing mentioned by most was the dreaded Greenness in Cabernet Sauvignon - a very unwelcome herbaceous / vegetative character. This develops due to high levels of Pyrazines present in the wine - something that's determined by the ripeness level of the grapes. The longer the grape bunches get exposed to sunlight during the growing period, the less Pyrazines - resulting in less greenness in the end product - reducing herbaceousness and amplifying fruit. Here in South Africa we have a unique situation: although we have plenty of sunshine, it is hot and dry. In most instances, by the time the grapes are ripe for picking, it hasn't had long enough sun exposure for the Pyrazines to get to an acceptable level. And if you leave it on the vine for longer, the sugar level gets too high. These sugars are then transformed during fermentation into alcohol resulting in rather high alcoholic wines. So in general, Cabernet creators are in fact chased by the Green Monster. Defended by some, feared by most. What confuses me, though, is that one could argue that this greenness is a stylistic characteristic of wines closer to the ocean, which makes it acceptable. Or does it? Where the exact point lies where herbaceousness turns into greenness - I am not sure. That’s why I decided to make a Cabernet Sauvignon led blend and identified the following 11 vineyards from different heights above sea levels. The closest vineyard to the ocean is 3km and the furthest 3 hours drive. My eie plaas - Cabernet Sauvignon: Valley floor Firgrove - 32 meters above sea-level. UNITY - Cabernet Sauvignon: Lower slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 116 meters above sea-level. LAN - Cabernet Sauvignon: Firgrove (slope facing towards the Helderberg) - 60m meters above sea-level. COR-CS - Cabernet Sauvignon: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 308 meters above sea-level. COR-CF - Cabernet franc: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 320 meters above sea-level. Sigh of Relief - Cabernet franc: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 391 meters above sea-level. Black Nectar - Petit verdot: Blaauwklippen Road Stellenbosch - 279 meters above sea-level. TOOLBAG Cabernet Sauvignon: Tulbagh - 310 meters above sea-level Mr VILLA Cabernet Sauvignon: Tulbagh - 310 meters above sea-level BUT WHY?: Ceres Plateau - 734 meters above sea-level LEAVING THE TABLE: Ceres Plateau - 755 meters above sea-level We made them all separately and aged them all in French oak for one and a half years - picked mainly when we thought the grapes tasted best. Interestingly enough, the first vineyard on the Helderberg ripened in late February whereas the last vineyard in Ceres Plateau (about 3 hours drive from the first) reached optimum ripeness on 22 April - 100 days into harvest and also the very last grapes to hit the cellar." -Producer’s note

BLANKbottle But Why 2019

R280.00 inc. VAT
"I was concerned that ripening would be a challenge. My initial thoughts were that the wines would be green. What we did not realise at the time was that the site’s radiation levels (sunlight) were off-the-charts high and the average temperature is low during summer. The grapes could therefore stay on the vines much longer, absorbing massive amounts of sunlight, whilst growing in maturity and getting rid of greenness. Resulting in ripe grapes with lower sugar levels. Sandy soils are also famous for producing more elegant wines."- Producer's note

Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

R280.00 inc. VAT
"2017 was an excellent growing season on Keermont. Despite a drier than usual winter, we had strong growth in the vineyards during the spring time. This led to the formation of a good healthy crop which ripened evenly during the warm, dry summer. Harvest started fairly early, but was put on hold after a heavy rainfall in late January. This rejuvenated the vines and allowed for extended ripening which definitely raised the general quality. We recorded one of our largest and healthiest crops yet and grapes came in with great analysis and concentration." Winemaker's notes.

Ronco del Gnemiz Rosso “Dott. Palazzolo” 2018

R895.00 inc. VAT
Crushed stone minerality meets floral undergrowth, dried blackberries and a hint of animal musk to create a beguiling display on the 2018 Dott. Palazzolo Rosso. This is silky and savory, with a sapidity that makes you think more of food than wine, as tart wild berries and spices give way to mounting tannins and herbal tones. Inner violets, black currants and hints of sour citrus all resonate through the finale, along with a tug of structural heft that just begs for another year or two of cellaring. Very nice. The Dott. Palazzolo Rosso is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, all from estate vineyards.