I have had an opportunity recently, to taste the Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 twice. It just gets better and better. I recorded a podcast last Saturday with a group of Financial and Investment Specialists about the wine and it was so well received. I will be posting that in weeks to come. Alto, which has been making wine for 100 years was first granted to a free burgher in 1693, when it was part of a larger property known as Groenrivier. It was in 1919 that Hennie Malan, the then owner, sold off half the property to his brother and with the takings set about planting red wine grape vines. Named Alto, because of its height on the slopes of the Helderberg and his striving for excellence
Alto’s vineyards are trellised red wine grape vines. They grow on decomposed granite from the mountain tops with a subsoil of clay. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from which this wine is made, come from vines which vary in age from 9 to 23 years. One of the benefits of the height of the vineyards is that in summer, cooling afternoon breezes from False Bay ameliorate the heat in the vineyards and allow for a longer hang time before reaching ideal ripeness, thus richer colour and fuller flavours in the final wine.
A product of one of the greatest vintages of this century, once harvested, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are taken to the cellar where they are placed in the caring hands of Bertho van Der Westhuizen, only the 5th Winemaker during the 100 years of Alto’s existence. The team get to work destalking and crushing the grapes which are then fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine was run off after 14 days. It then underwent Malolactic fermentation before being taken to a mix of first, second and third fill French oak barrels and matured for 18 months.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is classical and Alto elegant. In the glass, the wine is an opaque bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas and palate are full and generous. Generous in fruit, blackcurrants, blueberries with a fine thin line of acidity running through it from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste into which the delicate tannins are interwoven. Very impressive glass. The wine is eminently drinkable now, though will reward after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is a great glass on its own. Perhaps after dinner with a bar of dark chocolate. With food, it will honour the traditional Sunday Roast Lunch with rustly roast potatoes and real gravy [very important real gravy] and accompaniments. It will do the same for a well-prepared mid-week supper dish when you want a great bottle of wine after a long day. Jane-Anne Hobbs’s Effortless Fennel, Sausage & Tomato Traybake is the answer for a quick and easy supper dish. Click HERE for her recipe and to look at her website, lots of good stuff there.
Listen to my 60 second podcast, click on the red arrow on the left
Read more about Alto Wine Estate – CLICK HERE