#337 Arendsig A9 Blok Cabernet Sauv 2022

TECHNICAL SPECS

🔬 Wine of Origin Robertson. Vines are planted into calcareous soils on a western-facing slope, roughly 80km north of the Agulhas coastline. Robertson is a comprehensively continental climate – something that often gets overlooked when considering South African wine regions. Vines endure diurnal shifts of up to 15 degrees.
Winemaker Lourens Van Der Westhuizen uses only native yeasts, and refuses to add acid or enzymes. The final wine is matured in older neutral foudrè for 14 months. Some portions are also matured in older (neutral) 225 French oak barrels. | Alc 14.02% | pH 3.11 | TA 7.7 | TSO2: 94 mg/l RS: 1.6 g/l

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High and Dry

By and large, international wine buyers will look to Stellenbosch for South Africa’s most popular Cabernet Sauvignons, but there is a fascinating wave of emerging red wines made from Bordeaux cultivars (most notably Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon) coming out of some fascinating vineayrd sites in the inland wine district of Robertson.
With the combination of…
1. …higher lying vineyard sites on the edges of the valley,
2. supremely low rainfall,
3. a generous spread of alkaline (limestone-rich) soils, and
4. some really impressive diurnal shifts…
…all make for supremely exciting (not to mention distinctive) patches of turf from which to produce geniune “site specific” wines.

Arendsig winemaker Lourens van der Westhuizen is has always been keenly aware of our different his terroir is, and so it should come as no surprise that his Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as alternative.

Of course, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won’t be able to taste what I’m talking about (unless you hunt this wine down on your own). But in case you don’t get the chance, I’ve left some tasting notes and technical specs for you to peruse.

Finally, if you’re sceptical that there could ever be a indie/artisanal/minimal intervention winemaker who bothers to spend so much time on a “pop rock” cultivar like Cabernet Sauvignon, then you’ll be pleased to know that he also does more “conventional” indie-choice cultivars like Grenache, Colombard, Syrah and Chenin Blanc. 

TASTING NOTES

👃🏼 The vanguard carries fresh, clean, clear blackcurrant, crisp red cherry, with a deeper puff of fresh tobacco leaf, and fresh thyme and fennel, offset by more subtle touch of fresh red roses.
👄 On the palate, the style is lighter, and the fruit is redder than your average SA cab. But despite the explosive youth of the wine, and a sense of early harvest vibes, it’s by no means green or raw. The fruit is well formed. Which is hard to do on a cultivar like Cab, which means so heavily towards being leafy or overly herbal.
The red cherry fruit is so clear. You can almost feel the cherry skins between your teeth. Even the blackcurrant has this slightly wild vibrancy about it.
It will be interesting to see how it ages.
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