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Cordoba Crescendo 1995

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Not flaccid.
Not flaccid.

Was the maiden vintage 1995 Crescendo from Helderberg property Cordoba the best Crescendo of them all? A blend of 70% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, it was rated 5 Stars and termed “a new benchmark” in the 1999 edition of Platter’s.

“Expensively oaked and tastes it, structure to last 10 years” is also part of the review which appears in that edition of Platter’s and I recall drinking a bottle with leading commentator Michael Fridjhon some 10 years ago where he expressed skepticism as to whether the tannins would ever resolve.

For me, however, that firmness of tannin has always been what’s made the wine great. I opened my last remaining bottle last night and it again proved excellent drinking.

On the nose, red fruit and some decay, but decay in the best sense – forest floor, mulch, compost. Perhaps some dried herbs but that implies some greenness which isn’t there.

The palate, meanwhile, was medium bodied and still remarkably lively. Savoury but not severe, the acidity fresh but not sour and those tannins – still firm but not aggressive, a steel girding lending shape and form.

Score: 93/100.

1 COMMENT

  1. I remember this wine as being one of the first ‘serious’ wines I got to know, while working as a wine steward at Buitenverwachting Restaurant in the early 2000’s. Didn’t have any chance of really understanding it at the time, but it’s always stuck in my mind and remains a key reference point for me when I think of Cab Franc – rightly or wrongly!

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