A real privilege to do an exclusive world preview on a fantastic new South African red wine like this. With a hand delivered sample from Peter-Allan Finlayson, I was excited to be the first wine merchant to taste the new 2015 Gabrielskloof Cabernet Franc, recently bottled and due for release in South Africa in May/June 2017.
Made from a single vineyard, only 4,099 bottles have been produced from whole bunch clusters, fermented with wild yeasts. Clocking in at 14.4 Abv., this wine delivers a very classy, seductive, light handed, elegant version of Cabernet Franc.
This red was aged in 500L barrels, using 30% new French oak, for 18 months. On opening, this wine has taught, spicy, stalky, sappy, Loire complexity written all over it. But with 10 to 15 minutes in the glass, it reveals a more overt, sensual, opulent melange of sweet black fruits, barbecued meets, savoury foresty red bramble fruits, blood oranges, cedar spice, dusty led pencil, and a superbly pure sweet black current and blue berry intensity. Wonderful varietal typicity of cassis leaf, black plum, sweet soft textured concentration, coffee bean spice and a rich, long persistent finish. I love this wine’s intensity of fruit, light weight precision across the palate, and its cool, Cabernet Franc finesse. Peter-Allan is on to something very special here. A wine to watch out for. (Wine Safari Score: 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)