Rietvallei Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a full-bodied wine with a deep, almost black colour. Lots of red and black fruit flavours infused with cherry and cassis and hints of coffee on the nose. These flavours follow through on the pallet together with black current and dark chocolate, ending with a noticeable toastiness, a touch of vanilla and soft juicy tannins.
The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are planted on a north-west facing slope of the highest hill on the estate, some 155 meters above sea level, called Klippiesdal (which directly translates to Sonedale and named so because of the high concentration of river stone in the soil). The vineyards are trellised and under micro irrigation and where planted in 1998.
The grapes are picked at optimum ripeness at approximately 25 Â°Balling (Brix). After de-stemming and slight crushing the mash is taken to open concrete tanks for fermentation. During fermentation the temperature is regulated between 25-28ÂºC and the cap regularly wetted by the traditional method of pushing the skins down into the must manually every two hours. This together with pumping-over of the must onto the skins allows the colour and flavour to be extracted very effectively. It normally takes about five days to ferment dry and is then left on the skins for another five days before racking and pressing. After malolactic fermentation starts the wine is transferred to 300 liter French oak barrels where it is left to mature for a minimum of 12 months.