Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignons have been specialists for 21 years – a Dedicated Commitment to Quality, Consistency, Elegance.
I have known Etienne le Riche since the middle of the 1970s and have always admired the stoci professionalism and passion of this man. For 21 years, the Le Riche family, first Etienne on his own and later together with his children Christo and Yvonne, have made it their business to produce the definitive expression of a Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon, to great acclaim.
“Focus on one thing and do it to the best of your ability” has always been Etienne’s winemaking mantra. Cabernet Sauvignon is his life’s work and his signature Stellenbosch Cabernet developed a deserved and enviable cult following. This steadfast pursuit and commitment has been passed down to the next generation, the future of Le Riche wines.
Staying true to Cabernet, Christo’s unwavering belief is that “Stellenbosch is Cabernet country” adding “It’s the backbone upon which Stellenbosch was built. We focus on the production of top Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stellenbosch region.” Both Etienne (owner and Cellarmaster) and Christo (winemaker since 2010) share a singular vision: to celebrate the nuances of Stellenbosch Cabernet. Preferring to be uninhibited by estate classifications, they select grapes from the best possible terroirs Stellenbosch has to offer, small vineyard parcels specially selected for their unique expression of terroir. Etienne explains “We try to ensure that each vineyard is allowed to express itself fully, each making a particular contribution to the final blend, with the wines always reflecting the true nature of the vintage. Access to different vineyards does wonders for the complexity of a wine. The gravel soils on lower slopes produce grapes that ripen early, offer high sugars, low acidity, and some mint and cherry flavours, while grapes from decomposed granite soils on the upper slopes ripen later with good balanced acidity and tannin, which adds structure to the blend.”
“If you choose the right grapes, you don’t have to interfere – the terroir speaks for itself” says Etienne. “When it comes to my winemaking philosophy, we have a traditional yet innovative approach. I try to keep things simple, interfering as little as possible and let the grapes do the talking” Christo continues. The resulting wines show great elegance and class, consistently proving to be of superb quality and maturation potential.
The flagship of Le Riche, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is the expression of the best Le Riche can make. Scrupulous vineyard selection, hand sorting, extended maceration and high-quality French oak ensure the pedigree of this wine. It is a wine where Le Riche spares no effort or cost to ensure a wine of quality and consistency. This is a wine made to age, a true investment. Reserve status is only endowed if the grapes and resulting wine measure up to an exceptional standard. The Reserve spends 22 months in 225-litre French oak, 62% new.
Tasting Notes: A wine in classic Cabernet style, the fresh vibrant nose displays blackcurrant, cassis and cedar aromas, which are mirrored on the palate. The structure is powerfully firm, with abundant sweet fruit, juicy tannins and a lingering finish. This wine is simply delicious: elegant and rich. The Reserve will benefit from at least 8 to 10 years maturation.
Yvonne’s food pairing suggestions: Red meat especially fillet or rump, on the coals or grilled.
Pedigree and recent accolades: In amongst many local and international accolades, this wine has received Platter’s pinnacle five-star rating five times: for the 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2011 vintages. The 2014 vintage recently received a 94-point rating on the 100-point quality scale in Tim Atkin’s 2017 SA Wines Report.
Retail price: It retails nationally at specialist wine stores between R500 and R580.
The backbone of the range, it is a wine that delivers all the qualities that a Le Riche Cabernet should. Supple, elegant and rich with layers of fruit, this is Le Riche’s expression of Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon. With fruit from the cool gravelly slopes facing False Bay to the rich red granitic soils around Stellenbosch, the wine gains its complexity by blending fruit from diverse terroirs. This wine spent 20 months in French oak barrels, 15 % new.
Tasting Notes: The bouquet displays ripe cherries, fresh plums and an array of red and black fruit. Hints of vanilla, pencil shavings and cedar round out the fruit. Soft, smooth tannins are balanced on the palate by a firm structure and a juicy, lingering finish. This is an elegant and approachable Cabernet Sauvignon with a maturation potential between 4 and 8 years.
Yvonne’s food pairing suggestions – Pepper-crusted tuna, lamb shank, venison pie and boeuf bourguignon.
Retail price It retails nationally between R210 and R250.
Visit Le Riche Wines
8 Raithby-Annandale Road, Raithby, 7130
Tel: 021 842 3472
Open for tastings and sales
Monday to Friday: 9:00 – 16:30 (Closed 12:30 – 14:00)
Saturday: By appointment
Visit the website www.leriche.co.za
Information from Hazell PR