Cabernet Sauvignon, Hemel en Aarde, 2015

  Restless River

Cabernet Sauvignon, Hemel en Aarde

We were delighted to taste the new Cabernet Sauvignon vintage from Restless River, one of the first in the UK to do so. Suffice it to say, it exceeded our expectations and more. A supremely stylish, complex, glossy Cabernet with clear dark fruit, black plum, cherries, bittersweet wild forest fruit and fresh mint. A wine of beautiful composure, its elegant, healthy, refined tannins carry the wine to a long and tapered finish. A handsome, graceful Cabernet. From two vineyards: Main Road and Dignity; twenty year old vines with low and rickety trellising requires a bushvine approach to viticulture. This, combined with very rocky soils means very low yields, in this case only 15 - 25 hl/ha. Aged in French oak barrique for 23 months and held back for two years prior to release.

Contains Sulphites.

About Restless River

In the Restless River wines, the 2015 vintage again asserts itself as one of the finest vintages in living memory. Located in the cooler Hemel-en-Aarde Valley at high elevation and just 3km from the Atlantic, the team here favour more natural winemaking methods with very limited intervention. Fear not though, they produce some of the purest and most exciting wines around. Craig Wessels, a real entrepeneur and absolute perfectionist, continues to craft outstanding Chardonnay, on which the reputation of the brand has been established, as well as a Cabernet Sauvignon that has gone from strength to strength. With a total of just 7HA under vine, production is miniscule and the wines hard to come by. We recommend buying these while you can.

Appellation: Hemel-en-Aarde

Hemel-en-Aarde, or “Heaven and Earth” as it means in English, is a cool climate South African wine region within the wider Walker Bay and in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. A distinctly maritime profile and frequent cooling breezes has encouraged plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, where it generally excels. The region is further split in to three sub-appellations: Valley, Upper Valley and Ridge, each with its own distinct character, according to soil type, topography and climate. They were created as recently as 2009 and time will tell as to how these variations manifest themselves in the final wines. The most famous inhabitants of the Hemel-en-Aarde are Hamilton Russell, Newton Johnson and Bouchard Finlayson, as well as a number of increasingly important producers such as Restless River, Storm Wines and Tesserlaarsdall.

Grape Type: Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is responsible for many of the world's greatest wines and is, arguably, the grandest of all red wine varieties. This thick-skinned, late-ripening variety performs best in the warm, gravelly soils of the Médoc in Bordeaux, usually blended with lesser amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Cabernet Sauvignon is often packed full of cedar, herb and blackcurrant notes. Leaning towards musk, pencil lead and cigar-box in its home region of Bordeaux. Its deep-colour, assertive tannins and affinity with oak allow the wines to improve in bottle over many years if not decades. It is equally capable of producing affordable, everyday reds in regions like the south of France's Pays d'Oc, and countries like Bulgaria and Chile as it is of producing wines with real finesse and class. The best of which come from Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Tuscany and parts of Australia, particularly Margaret River. Latterly, South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina are laying claim to some very good blends and varietals made from Cabernet Sauvignon.