#323 Thokozani Cabernet Franc 2022
🔬 Wine of Origin Wellington. 100% Cabernet Franc. Grapes are harvested from a single block on Diemersfontein Estate. The fruit is destemmed, crushed and left to cold soak overnight in an open-top oak-fermenter. The wine is inoculated with Alchemy 3 for primary fermentation, as well as being innoculated for malolactic conversion. During the first two thirds of fermentation, the grapes are punched down every three to four hours, but as fermentation slows, so too do the punchdowns. The final wine was matured in 2nd-fill French Oak barrels for 16 months.
Yield: 5 ton/ha
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Thokozani Wines is a wine brand that was birthed out of the goodwill of one family towards the community around them. Now, while this is enough to give one a few warm fuzzies, this bit of news is not – in itself – particularly exciting. What IS particularly exciting is that Thokozani no longer requires the aforementioned charity to keep it going.
What was born out of a social upliftment and transformation initiative launched by Diemersfontein Estate owners, the Sonnenberg family, has now become a profitable wine brand with the power to buy a controlling interest (55%) in the Diemersfontein wine brand – the mother brand was which it was launched!
As of 2024, Thokozani Wines, lead by CEO Denise Stubbs, is 100% owned by the 65 employees of Diemersfontein, with a 100% female management team, and a 100% female board of directors, made up exclusively of BIPOC members. Thokozani also owns its own land, and – as mentioned 55% of the Diemersfontein Wine brand.
Perhaps most gratifyingly of all, bleeding-heart wine lovers need not buy Thokozani wines simply because the feel like they should support a good cause, but rather because the quality of many of the wines they produce are quite literally trophy worthy.
In today’s video, we study the success of the Thokozani Cabernet Franc 2022, and dig into some of the challenges that still face the brand.
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:
👃🏼 A supremely classic cabernet franc shnozz. Clearly articulated sweet bell pepper notes, violets, ripe blueberries, blackcurrant preserve, and a touch of fennel.
👄 The palate is incredibly winsome, although perhaps slightly lacking in concentration. The savoury and sweet elements still work beautifully together, and the fine tannins hold everything together with aplomb, but perhaps had it been a little denser it would have been in the same giant killing vein of previous vintages. As it is, Thokozani can be proud to have achieved what they did what was undoubtedly a troublesome vintage.
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