The second annual Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report has found that local Cabs are, on the whole, very impressive in quality with ‘the thin and weedy wines of yesteryear’ being replaced with premium Cabernet characterised by richness and weight.
The report is compiled by Christian Eedes in collaboration with Sanlam Private Investments (SPI) and aims to establish a recognised benchmark for the second most planted varietal in South Africa.
The Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignons were revealed at a gathering at Burrata at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock on Thursday, 23 May 2013. A total of 60 wines were tasted and judged by a panel that was led by Eedes and included renowned tasters Roland Peens from Wine Cellar and James Pietersen from Balducci’s and Belthazar. The judges were in consensus that the 2013 line-up represents an extremely high level of technique among South African wine makers.
Eedes says Cabernet is renowned for its capacity to age, mainly due to its high level of tannins, and yet this is increasingly becoming a quality which consumers do not desire. “As a consequence, winemakers seem to be going to great lengths to emphasise fruit and the resulting wines are tending to be ever riper, sweeter and more alcoholic. The best examples display fruit concentration but retain shape and form.”
A point of concern for the panel was the clumsy addition of tartaric acidity. “This is done supposedly to add freshness, but in some cases imparted an unfortunate sourness. On the whole, however, the thin and weedy wines of yesteryear have been left behind and South African premium Cabernet is characterised by richness and weight. The very best examples have a savoury complexity too,” says Eedes.
Daniël Kriel, SPI CEO, says the top 10 wines were truly a delight to taste. “SPI partnered with Christian because we know that identifying quality investments goes beyond expertise in market movements. It is also about realising that value has a broad definition and passion investments – the type of investments which attests to our clients’ quality of life – can hold greater value for an individual than a traditional investment portfolio. Red wine is certainly a front-runner in the passion investment category.”
The Christian Eedes Top Ten Cabernet Sauvignons for 2013 are:
· La Bri 2009
· Le Riche Reserve 2010
· Graham Beck The Coffeestone Cabernet 2011
· Guardian Peak Lapa 2010
· Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve 2010
· Springfield Méthode Ancienne 2006
· Thelema 2009
· Waterford 2009
· Rust en Vrede 2010