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Flat front label of wine

Vinum Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa
  • RP88
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Vineyards: Two selected vineyards, one located on the footslopes of the prestigious Helderberg Mountain and the other on the heights of Devon Valley. The Helderberg vineyard faces the ocean in a northwestern orientation while the Devon Valley vineyard faces west on the coastal side of Stellenbosch. Both vineyards benefit from cooling maritime breezes.

Vinification: Following a long, hot ripening season, picking occurred later than most in the area, holding on for full ripeness of the pips, rather than just sugar ripeness. The bunches were relatively small, with thick skins. Pre-fermentation cold soak for 3 days, followed by fermentation in tank. Cap-punching three times a day and pump-overs twice. One third underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel, and the rest in tank, to retain fruit and suppleness. These proportions were matured respectively for 11 months, with periodic micro-oxygenation and without sulphur additions. Of the barrel proportions, 80% was small French oak, 20% American; a third new, the rest split between 2nd & 3rd fill. The wines were assembled after almost one year, then egg-white fined. The wine settled naturally for a further two months, with no filtration until bottling.

Tasting Comments: The deep, shiny cherry hue and rich spicy nose combine to entice you before the wine even hits your tongue. Flavor, structure, fruit, promise and restraint. Intelligent oaking compliments rather than dominates the wine, allowing it to reflect its origin's natural flavors. Pencil lead, blueberry and mocha mingle seamlessly, bridging the lapse between sips. Good wine. Great value.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Vinum Africa

Vinum Africa

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Vinum Africa , South Africa
Vinum Africa brings together for the first time 4 passionate wine minds, from contrasting corners of the world, balancing different nationalities, wits and cultures. The overlapping common ground is incarnated in the form of their friendship and their wines. Innovation often comes from creative destruction. Consequently, they like to break down unnecessary barriers and formalities, and create off-beat wines with down to earth and novel or curious objectives.

South Africa

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The South African wine renaissance is in full swing. Impressive red and white bargains abound. South Africa has a long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

WBO2388122Z_2001 Item# 53443