Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
South Africa / Stellenbosch
Andy's Tasting Notes
There really can’t be many better value Cabernet Sauvignons than this. It’s not just the concentration of fruit that shines through – there is serious complexity, structure and balance in this wine which you would normally pay a few quid more for. Just coming into its optimal drinking window, but will continue to improve for 3 – 4 years and hold for 8 years.
Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg’s plantings are dedicated to it.
The winter of 2016 was dry but cold as drought conditions persisted in the Western Cape. Despite the drought, a warm, dry spring and little wind meant that there was little disease pressure and little stress on the vineyards beyond the heat. Harvest started slightly earlier than usual but was 10 days later than the record early start of the 2016 vintage. Careful use of irrigation to offset the dry drought conditions and cold nights experienced during the first four months of the year resulted in superb quality, and wonderful acidity, colour and flavour concentration in the wines.
Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second-, 20% third- and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 15 months’ maturation.
Price per bottle £11.40
Recognised globally as one of South Africa’s top five wine estates, Rustenberg is also one of the oldest in the Cape, having been established in 1892. In 1941 the Rustenberg Farm, which sits 6km north of Stellenbosch, was bought by Peter Barlow. The Barlows have been at Rustenberg for over 60 years: the longest period any one family has owned the farm with Simon Barlow taking over the running of the farm in 1987, and Murray, his son, now involved with winemaking and marketing. Vineyards producing the grapes for Rustenberg wines climb the rich red slopes of the Simonsberg and Helderberg; a range of slopes and aspects allows site-specific plantings that enhance varietal characteristics. With a long and very proud history of producing exceptional wines, Rustenberg’s winemaking style is simple: produce quality wines true to the style of the estate and the brand.
Food matchRib-eye steak