#289 Boschkloof Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
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Behind every great winemaker is a very old viticulturist
The Borman family of Savants was lead by Patriarch Jacques Borman, who himself is a previous Cape Winemaker’s Guild member.
He bought the estate of Boschkloof back in 1996, and was the winemaker for 14 years before handing the winemaking over to Reenen in 2010. Jacques has stayed on as the estate’s viticulturist, which is significant, in that he has now been working the vineyards for almost 30 years. And as we’ve said before, in other videos – this level of connection between the land itself and person who works it is very important. And a threeeee decades connection is incredibly rare in a new world context. And it must be remembered that when we SAY things like, “great wine is made in the vineyards” – this PRESUPPOSES and intimate and informed knowledge of those vineyards, and their natural rhythms. And the process of developing this knowledge can’t be rushed. Because it is, in large part, limited by the natural pace of each season, and each passing vintage.
So when the Boschkloof Epilogue Syrah 2014 became Tim Atkin’s red wine of the year in only its second vintage, a lot of that credit has to go to Jaques Borman’s year-in-year-out connection to his land.
And one might say the same of when the Epilogue 2017 vintage scored 99 points from Tim Atkin (making it one of the ten highest scoring wines in all of South African wine history),
or when the 2021 vintage was voted Platter Red wine of the year for 2022,
or when then 2016, 2018, 2019 & 2020 vintages all scored 98 points. This consistency comes from a combo of reenen’s genius AND Jacques 30 years on the land.
If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:
👃🏼 Leather, cassis, hint of vanilla spice, dried herbs,
👄 Lovely, tightly coiled blackcurrant, with a some juicier black cherry acidity, and maybe even a touch of blueberry. The tannins are firm and chalky. Concentration is good. As the riper fruit fades, the cherry acidity comes back onto centre stage until the curtain comes down. The tail end is a delightful combination of that persistent black cherry juiciness, and some more savoury tobacco leaf. Very-more-ish.
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard. The fruit comes from a combination of Boschkloof Estate and Karibib Estate. Both properties are located within the Polkadraai Hills Ward. the average age of the vines is 19 years old, planted in a duplex soil of decomposed granite over ironstone. While none of the vineyards are certified as organic, they are farmed in a sustainable and organic manner, employing bio-solutions and organic treatments wherever possible.
Upon harvesting, the fruit is crushed, and fermented in stainless steel tanks, with a combination of cultivated and native yeasts. Fermentation takes about a week, with a further 14 days of post-fermentation maceration. The juice and pulp is in contact for a total of 20 days.
The wine is matured for 16 months in a combination of 225L French oak barrels, most of which are between 2nd and 4th fill.
| Alc 14.4% | pH: 3.6 | TA 5.9 g/L | SO2: 90 ppm | 5250 bottles made |
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