Taking ownership of Stellenbosch’s unique terroirs…

Last year at Cape Wine 2015, I had the honour of chairing the excellent ‘Kingdom of Cabernet’ seminar featuring 20 of Stellenbosch’s top winemakers, presenting one of their top Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

This fantastic event signalled appellation Stellenbosch’s fight back against the terroirists of the Swartland. As wine commentator Tim Atkin MW observed at the time… “It’s easier to sell a revolution than a renaissance!” I thought this comment summed up perfectly the paranoia many Stellenbosch producers were grappling with.


We all knew Stellenbosch’s sub-terroirs like the Helderberg, Simonsberg, Jonkershoek, Bottelary Hills, Polkadraai, etc could produce exemplary examples of Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. But this region is not limited to Cabernet excellence as the new release Craven Faure Vineyard 2015 Pinot Noir illustrates.

The 2014 version of this wine was an esoteric interpretation of Pinot Noir from Mick and Janine Craven, showing cool chalky, sappy spice, black foresty stalky fruits and a taught fresh gravelly finish at 10.5 Abv. The 2015 however, takes Stellenbosch Pinot Noir to a whole different level. Still immaculately cool, precise and pure, this wine gushes with 2015’s opulent, plush, black fruit concentration. A really beautiful wine with excellent development potential. A real stand out achievement that’s worth hunting down.

Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and now Pinot Noir. Just goes to show what magic grapes grown on great Stellenbosch terroirs, in the right hands, can produce! Even the Swartlanders are a little bit jealous! Hey Ryan?

(Ryan Mostert telling Wineanorak Jamie Goode how wonderful Stellenbosch’s terroir is… 😄)

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