The Proprietor’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 was rated 5 Stars in Platter’s 2014 and Louis Strydom, winemaker and managing director at this Helderberg winery, is backing Cab in a big way. It makes up some 55% of the 45ha under vine here and yesterday saw the planting of clone CS 412 for the first time in South Africa.
The so-called “Gironde clone”, it has particularly small clusters and berries which contribute to extra colour and flavour intensity. It’s the first new clone to be released locally since 1995 and brings the number of different clones on Ernie Els to six – Strydom hopes to have increased this to ten in the next three years.
Will CS 412 prove to be the miracle clone? Time alone will tell – first imported in 2008, there were only some 642 vines available for planting yesterday. First crop is set for 2017, which will be matured in barrel until 2019 and released around 2020.