Gabrielskloof Cabernet Franc The Landscape Series 2019
Gabriëlskloof is a beautiful wine estate located near Bot River in the Overberg region east of Cape Town. It was purchased in 2001 by Bernhard Heyns, who had been on the lookout for the ideal place to plant vines. After planting, his first vintage was in 2009. We felt compelled to add Gabriëlskloof to our list because Peter-Allan Finlayson, Bernhard’s son-in-law, took over as winemaker from the 2015 vintage. The farm has 300 hectares, with 68 hectares planted to vines. The vineyards are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future.
The fruit for this single-vineyard Cabernet Franc is sourced from a mountainside site on the Gabriëlskloof estate. Prevailing southerly winds from the nearby Atlantic Ocean create a cool mesoclimate, which promotes complex aromatics and fresh acidity. The vines are planted on a combination of Bokkeveld Shale and Table Mountain Sandstone, which limit vigour and result in intensely concentrated fruit.
The 2019 vintage was low-yielding but reports suggest the quality was high. This was a tricky vintage blighted by drought but the grapes which did survive are allegedly concentrated with good balancing acidity.
The fruit was hand-picked into small crates and transferred directly into the cool room where it remained overnight. 80% of the crop was destemmed with the remaining 20% left as whole clusters. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in 500-litre barrels for 18 months, with 30% new French oak used.
Bright ruby in colour the 2019 vintage has a beautiful perfume of cranberry, blueberry and ripe cherry on the nose, with an earthy minerality and savoury, fresh herbal notes. It has fantastic crunchy acidity that lifts the wine and makes it immediately approachable alongside its fine, integrated tannins.