Zorgvliet Cabernet Franc 2016  £16.95


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ZORGVLIET CABERNET FRANC 

This is a small 200,000-bottle winery in Banghoek, on the Helshoogte Pass between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. It’s pronounced ‘Sorg-fleet’, which roughly translates to 'no worries', and that sentiment carries itself through all they do. Winemaker Bernard Le Roux is a young and upcoming talent who is passionate about the estate’s vineyards as well as its cellar (not always a given for winemakers!). Grapes are grown on the steep slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in vineyards that are among the highest in Stellenbosch. The estate wines are from site-specific single vineyards and are elegant expressions of this unique mountain terroir, all crafted in the Zorgvliet cellar, one of the most technologically advanced cellars in South Africa.

There are very few wards in South Africa that can ripen Cabernet Franc properly like they do in the Banghoek Valley. Overripe and it becomes jammy – under ripe and it becomes weedy. Zorgvliet use a Single Vineyard to create this delicate and harmonious wine.

The vineyards are located in the Banghoek Valley, Stellenbosch. Elevation is 300-350m above sea level and is mostly southerly facing. This provides for moderate temperatures resulting in the late but slow ripening of the fruit. The soils are made up of leached, decomposed granite and sandstone. Gravel in the upper layers provides for good drainage in wet seasons and clay in the subsoil provides for moisture retention in dry ones. Vineyards are trained on a 7 wire hedge and cane pruned by hand. Grapes were harvested by hand and berry sorted into stainless steel fermenters. Fermentation commenced spontaneously and was finished with a pure strain. Extraction was done with a combination of punch-down, rack-and-return and pump-over methods. Batches were gently pressed and immediately racked to small French oak barrels where they completed malolactic fermentation. The components were racked three times to enhance clarification and development. Blending took place after 14 months aging, after which the composed blend was aged in barrel for another 4 months. The wine was bottled after a total of 22 months.

Unique and expressive wine from the heights of Banghoek. A complex nose with cinnamon spice with a menthol hint married with plum fruits. It has an elegant palate with fine tannic structure, plum and red cherry fruits and distinct minerality.

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