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Boekenhoutskloof Estate Franschoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 £42.50
BOEKENHOUTSKLOOF ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for making fine furniture. Our Boekenhoutskloof label features seven chairs; amongst them the country-style split splat chair made in the neo-classical style with a shouldered top rail and thonged seat from the late 18th century. Then there's the Sandveld chair which has two back rails and a thonged seat which made its appearance in the second quarter of the 19th century. The transitional Tulbagh chair was made in the late 18th century, it has a plain back and a shaped top rail with a half-round opening. The chairs on our wine label all pay tribute to the skills of 18th-century craftsmen and their achievements in creating beauty from natural sources, just like the pursuit of fine wine-making.
The Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from four individual parcels adjacent to one another on a south-westerly aspect of the Franschhoek valley, where the soil is predominantly sandy loam over granitic bedrock. Traditional picking dates were adhered to and the Cabernets came in showing healthy fruit and a very high skin-to-pulp ratio, resulting in wines with exceptional tannins and classic phenolic structures, yet still offering wonderful natural acidity. A very small percentage of Cabernet Franc from an old vineyard on the farm was again blended in, contributing subtle fragrance and finesse to the dark fruit spectrum.
The intention was to create a textbook claret and to respect the signature Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet style. Classic dark berry fruit profile and a full, rich character and deep flavours offered by the vintage were captured. Gentle vinification was selected to avoid huge, monstrous wines. Grapes were picked by hand into small lug boxes, bunch sorted with berry selection and gently destalked. The grapes underwent a cold maceration in traditional concrete vessels and then fermented at temperatures between 27° and 30°C with frequent pump-overs to extract aromas, colour and tannins. After alcoholic fermentation, a prolonged malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in 225-litre barriques. The wine was matured in French oak from our preferred coopers, Sylvain and Saury.
The nose is subtle, yet perfumey with its complex bouquet of red currant, dark cherries and blueberry and enticing whiffs of bergamot and cedar. Red and dark berry fruit follows through onto a medium-bodied palate with flavours of fresh fig and nutmeg. The mid-palate is focused, silky and poised with a charcoal-edged texture and very fine-grained tannins, with perfect acidity to balance. The wine lingers with hints of clove, crushed gravel and cocoa powder on a mineral-tinged, pure finish.
Rated 95 points, Tim Atkin MW, 2021 South Africa Report
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Franschhoek is well-defined on the nose, presenting blackberry, wild hedgerow and hints of black truffle intermingling with bell pepper aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannins and fine acidity, quite austere toward the finish at the moment, yet fresh and simply needing bottle age. There is something almost Cabernet Franc about this blend, even though that variety comprises just 5% of the total. Still, this feels accomplished Drink 2023-2040