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Taaibosch Crescendo
03 February 2022

For those in the know, Cordoba Crescendo was South Africa’s original cult wine in the post-Apartheid era. Long before Columella, in the mid-1990s, Cordoba was one of the most revered wines in the Cape, and its maiden vintage 1995 made a name for Chris Keet, cellarmaster at the time. A Cabernet Franc-led Bordeaux blend from the Heldeberg Ward of Stellenbosch, elevation here ranges from 230-350m, just 7km from False Bay. That combination of altitude and proximity to the ocean allows for a natural cooling system, perfect for the later ripening Bordeaux varieties. Sadly, by the early 2000s the then-owners lost interest in the farm and Keet moved on to pastures new. The last vintage bottled under the Cordoba brand was 2003, although the wine was bottled for a few more years and sold off unlabelled at ridiculously low prices. From 2006, the vineyards were maintained but only as a source of grapes for other producers in the area. All signs pointed to the demise of a former icon.

Happily though, new owners took over in 2017 and set about building a new winery surrounded by the original estate vineyards. It is now called Taaibosch, named after the indigenous fynbos species that grows in abundance on the estate. Located on the steep slopes of the Heldeberg it enjoys 360-degree orientation and views over Cape Town and Table Mountain. Schalk-Willam Joubert has been installed as the new cellarmaster and, in keeping with the legacy of the property, plans to continue the focus on one Cabernet Franc based red, which has also been christened Crescendo. In that regard, it is a direct descendant of the original Cordoba bottlings, except it now benefits from the experience of two decades’ worth of a revived and dramatically improved wine culture in South Africa.

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