International Cabernet Sauvignon Day – September 3rd, 11 of my Cabernet Sauvignon Grape choices to celebrate…

The Cabernet Sauvignon Grape in the hands of the Harvester

Not too difficult to find some really good Cabernet Sauvignon Wines. Here are some of my favourites which we have tasted recently, in random order…

Arco Laarman The Cluster Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Stellenbosch Cabernet Makers will tell you that they have the edge on other areas. Stellenbosch has a marine climate with False Bay playing an important part. Arco Laarman Who honed his wine making skills with the Steytler family of Kaapzicht and then later as Winemaker at Glen Carlou has produced a delicious berried wine with an undertow of roadside fennel. Bright cherries, blueberries and blackberries are supported by silken tannins and the oak with it concomitant spice and vanilla. Easy to drink, serious wine.

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Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
David Nieuwoudt has some of the highest altitude vineyards in the country. This is one from a winemaker’s treatise on Cabernet. Great waves of cassis, blackberries, ripe plums on the nose and on the palate. Undertow of Parma violets, lovely oaking, with ripe tannins interwoven with the bright fruit in a satin smooth ending.

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Nederburg The Winemaster’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Samuel Viljoen, Wine Maker at Nederburg has produced a fine wine here. Blood plum in colour with whiffs of bright red and black fruits. The palate is rich and full, repeating the fruits on the nose with the oak and gentle tannins interwoven in a gently waning aftertaste.

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Durbanville Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Martin Moore Founding Cellar Master of the Winery and his red wine specialist Wilhelm Coetzee deal with grapes from 9 different suppliers. Here they have produced a gem of a wine from this cool climate Appellation. In the glass, a deep ruby at the heart. Prunes and prune plums on the nose with sweet brown spices. Tres elegante, medium of body with bright berry fruits, chocolate in undertow. Harmonious in the aftertaste with supportive oak.

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Delaire Graff Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014
Morné Vrey, the masterful and much awarded Wine maker of this estate at the head of the Banghoek Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is dominated by black fruit and supported by oak spice. Beautifully structured, this multi-layered wine is rich and generous both in aroma, palate and ending. Really needs to be cool cellared for another couple of years.

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De Wetshof Naissance Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
One thing about this wine is that it is evenhandedly priced for a wine which is like the thoroughbred horses on the farms surrounding the De Wetshof Estate. A fine beast by Peter de Wet. Elegant, yet powerful, individual. The expected pencil shavings, the concentration of the dark red and black berry fruits, the dark chocolate and the supportive oak and breadth of palate all combine is a broad and pleasing aftertaste.

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Groot Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
This ‘cradle of the Cape Wine Industry’ once provided wines which graced royal tables in Europe and to Napoleon Bonaparte in exile on St Helena. Boela Gerber’s Cabernet has bright black berry and cherry fruits wrapped in a herbaceousness which combines well with the oak spice and grippy tannins in the satisfying aftertaste. A gem which will be happy with a year or two of cool cellaring.

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Landskroon Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Paul de Villiers V, the cellarmaster of Landskroon is a modest man and makes fine wine which people really need to try. Always evenhandedly priced, this rich and generous wine is a plethora of bright concentrated blackcurrants supported by cedar and brown spices. Subtle well integrated tannins, supported by the oak, combine with the fruit in a harmonious ending.

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Oldenburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Nic van Aarde, Wine Maker at this Banghoek Valley Wine Estate did a great job on the presentation of this wine, made before his time at Oldenburg. A textbook Cabernet with the nose filled with fresh blackberries and roadside brambles. The palate is rich with a generosity of sappy fruit with a long juice making ending.

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Simonsig Labyrinth Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Here is a fine Stellenbosch Cabernet, like a nervous racehorse at the start of the race. Johan Malan’s Labyrinth Cabernet Sauvignon is an expression of elegance and power. In the glass, the colour is a deep dark plum at the heart. An herbaceousness supports the berry fruit, blackcurrants and roadside brambles. A purple floral note and pencil shavings meet and blend harmoniously with the bright fruit and the satin soft tannins and undertow of fine oak.

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Spier Signature Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a wine that I tell people, if you want to know what Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like, try this one. Great fruit, more red than black on the nose with the spice and vanilla with the oak in support. Full and generous palate with bright fruit, soft tannins, and a perfect brush of oak leading to the aftertaste.

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Dianne Bibby’s Best Marinated Rib Eye Steak

To serve with these wines, you need a hearty dish. In these cooler times, a good casserole of guinea fowl or red meat, a lusty vegetarian dish featuring aubergines, mushrooms, tomato and cheese would all be excellent partners.

Dianne Bibby’s Best Marinated Rib Eye Steak is the perfect partner for these wines. Click HERE for her recipe.

Dianne Bibby’s Cookbook, a Kitchen ‘must have’

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