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Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2018

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The seventh annual Cabernet Sauvignon Report sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out.

89 entries were received from 74 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by the three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Wines to rate 90 or higher were as follows:

95
Nederburg The Manor House 2015 – Wine Cellar price: R175

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94
Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Valley Stellenbosch 2015 – R365

93
Delaire Graff Reserve 2015 – R750
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection 2015 – R139
Strydom Rex 2015 – R265
Zorgvliet 2016 – R140

92
Dombeya Fenix 2014 – R165
Fleur Du Cap Unfiltered 2014 – R143
Glenelly Lady May 2012 – R490
Glenelly Lady May 2013 – R490
Holden Manz 2013 – R160
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2015 – R365
Le Riche Reserve 2015 – R550
Plaisir de Merle 2014 – R210.82
Rust en Vrede Single Vineyard 2015 – R980
Spier Woolworths Private Collection 2015 – R169.99
Stellenbosch Reserve Ou Hoofgebou 2016 – R140
Thelema 2014 – R240
Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch 2014 – R320
Villion 2015 – Not yet released.
Warwick The Blue Lady 2015 – R350

91
Eikendal 2016 – R195
Ernie Els Proprietor’s 2015 – R325
Glenelly Glass Collection 2015 – R105
Le Riche 2015 – R220
Stark-Condé Stellenbosch 2015 – R195

90
Bartinney Skyfall 2014 – R380
Diemersdal M.M. Louw 2015 – R290
Erika O. 2015 – R550
Groot Constantia 2016 – R223
Joostenberg Philip Albert 2015 – R165
Jordan The Long Fuse 2015 – R189
KWV Cathedral Cellar 2015 – R120
Lanzerac 2015 – R150
Nederburg Two Centuries 2014 – R374
Neil Ellis Stellenbosch 2015 – R150
Rudi Schultz 2015 – R250
Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2015 – R500
Sutherland 2014 – R145
Waterford 2015 – R320

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2018

To view a photo album of the awards function, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Prescient, CLICK HERE.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Any idea where one can buy the Nederburg The Manor House online? That sounds like a promising one to buy a case of an drink over the next 10-20 years.

  2. Since nobody has asked it yet, I will: what was it that put you guys off the Keermont 2015?

    An aside: every single one of the top six wines are just about 14.5% ABV. It’s clear (and, to me, lamentable) where both winemaking and judging has currently perched the overwhelming bulk of this category. There are wineries that look like they don’t prescribe to this (like Restless River), but they clearly represent the minority train of thought. My preference for the classics aside, the future performance of the current crop of vintages will be interesting to follow over the next few decades. Hopefully they will surprise rather than dissapoint with their longevity – not that I think most people care too much about that anymore. Bring on the cabernet cinsaut blends, I say!

  3. Hi Kwispedoor, Tasting note for the Keermont 2015: Very ripe fruit, a slight medicinal edge plus prominent oak notes of vanilla and spice on the nose. Sweet on entry, astringent on the finish.

  4. Hi Christian,

    Apart from the Keermont mentioned above, three other wines stand out for me based on previous scores given by Roland for Wine Cellar’s en-primeur offer: Rustenberg P. Barlow (90 vs 96-98, Spier 21 Gables 85 vs 93, and Waterford 90 vs 95).

    Not that I am knocking either tasting. On the contrary, Roland’s scores (I assume sighted) vs the WM team’s unsighted scores are (reassuringly) remarkably consistent. These three though seem to have been scored differently enough to fall into a completely different category of wine quality.

    Were any of them contraversial w.r.t. attracting varied scores from the judges? Is there anything in respect of the style of the wine which may have handicapped any of them in the unsighted WM tasting?

    I would be interested to hear, especially with respect to the Rustenberg which was rated so highy previously.

    Cheers.

    • Hi Matt A,

      Notes regarding the three wines you inquire about as follows:

      Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2015: Very youthful, well structured, extremely tannic making for a particularly dry finish.

      Spier 21 Gables 2015: Slight dank note to nose. Extremely dense and heavily extracted. Fruit tending to over-ripe – lacks purity and freshness. Clumsy.

      Waterford 2015: Red and black fruit, medium bodied, good freshness and fine tannins. Elegant and approachable.

      As ever with tastings like this, the measure of the outcome should be validity rather than repeatability – presuming you have faith in the collective aesthetic of the panel, then 2015 was a good vintage for Cab and Nederburg The Manor House 2015 as well as the other top performers are probably good to purchase.

  5. Thanks for that, helps to understand the broader aesthetic of the panel too, which I don’t think I would question: I’ve enjoyed enough wines over the years featured in CE / Prescient Cab reports to appreciate the validity of the exercise – 90 points and above have never disappointed, especially when given the chance to age.

    I have sometimes questioned the move from selecting entrants for the various reports to opening it up only to those who wish to enter. It was useful to know that the “cream of the crop” were always represented and how they faired in a particular vintage, and there was nowhere for the big boys to hide. But I have also come to appreciate the fact that the new format provides exposure to wines that may have otherwise been overlooked, which is of just as much value. This year’s winner a case in point.

  6. Hi Matt

    I too was surprised that the Waterford and Peter Barlow only received 90 points. Without going into the debate of the difference between sighted and blind tastings of 90 wines, the customer should evaluate all judgments and then make a decision. There is no perfect system.
    These two wines are incredibly tannic and backward and will need time to show their best. In fact they could have been more sumptuous out of barrel and have tightened up in bottle since.

    That, and the Cabernet Sauvignon Report was a panel decision, as opposed to my sole opinion.

    My retailer point of view is that its a vintage to buy across the board and the big names will shine through with time

    Roland

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