Rietvallei is one of the oldest family owned wine estates in the beautiful Robertson Wine Valley and Wine Appellation. Kobus Burger is the current incumbent, having taken over from his father, the well-known late Johnny Burger. The estate produces a wide variety of wines, with the 1908 Muscadel perhaps of the most historical interest. Sweet unctuous red Muscadel is still produced from this old vineyard. The Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2015 is a product of what many winemakers regard as one of the finest vintages of recent years. Cabernet Franc is a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, the other parent being Sauvignon Blanc, it is thought the natural vineyard crossing a couple of hundred years ago.
The grapes for the Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2015 come from a single vineyard on the Estate which was planted in 2003, so 12 years old at the time of this vintage. The vines are trellised and planted in the iconic calcareous soils of the region. Kobus ensured great care was taken of this vineyard from pruning up to harvest when a very even handed 5 tons per hectare of top quality fruit was taken off the vineyard.
Once picked at the ideal point in the ripeness window, the grapes were taken for destalking and then crushing. The mash was then taken to open top fermenters where fermentation took place with the natural vineyard yeasts. Both punch downs and pump overs took place to ensure gentle extraction of colour, flavour and soft tannins. After the five days of fermentation, a further five days of the skins macerating in the wine took place. At the start of malolactic fermentation, the wine was transferred into new 300 litre French oak barrels for two years. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
Appropriately bottled under natural cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle. In the glass, the Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2015 is an Indian ink red at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are classical Cabernet Franc – squashed blackcurrants, graphite, ripe bloodplums and roadside brambles. All these appear on the palate as well, in generosity and abundance. The oak and its concomitant spices, vanilla and fresh baked brioche is in support of the fruit and the mildly grippy tannins. Generous full palate with all the components beautifully interwoven in the long and gently waning aftertastes,
This is a food wine, no doubt. Game birds en casserole are just perfect with the Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc 2015. Lusty Vegetarian dishes with well reduced tomato, mushrooms and aubergine love it. Nina Timm’s Sirloin Roast is the perfect mate for this wine. Click here for her recipe.
Nina Timm of myeasycooking.com
Read more about Rietvallei Estate in Robertson – CLICK HERE