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Tokara Director’s Reserve Red vertical

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Miles Mossop, outgoing winemaker at Stellenbosch cellar Tokara, says he has always sought a “sense of power and a sense of place” in the Cape Bordeaux red blend that is Director’s Reserve and a vertical from the maiden 2003 to current-release 2013 (from magnum) emphatically demonstrated this

2003
Alc: 14.02%
73% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot. Merlot-driven on account of leaf-roll virus evident in some of the Cabernet Sauvignon plantings. Black fruit, graphite, some leafiness and the start of some developed character. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. A stylistic outlier in the line-up remarkably successful given the dominance of Merlot.

Rating: 91/100.

2004
Alc: 14.5%
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Black fruit, a hint of mint, chocolate and a slightly dank note. Rich and chunky, the finish savoury.

Rating: 89/100.

Tokara 2005
Stately.

2005
Alc: 14.65%
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. Black fruit, some leafiness and tilled earth. Lovely fruit purity, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins – great composure and good for many more years.

Rating: 93/100.

2006
Alc: 15%
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot. Particularly fragrant with notes of red and black fruit plus some fynbos. Succulent on entry but a little bit loose in terms of structure and hot on the finish.

Rating: 88/100.

2007
Alc: 14.5%
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, 5% Malbec. Red, black and blue fruit plus a hint of fynbos – still remarkably primary. Good fruit expression, fresh acidity and properly ripe tannins – the product of a cool vintage facilitating late picking.

Rating: 92/100.

2008
Alc: 14.5%
73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc. Red and black fruit plus some floral perfume. Relatively medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Plenty fo charm.

Rating: 91/100.

2009
Alc: 15.15%
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 5% Malbec. Red and black fruit, tea leaf and oak spice. A blockbuster – dense fruit and firm tannins. Intensely flavoured but hard work to drink.

Rating: 89/100.

2010
Not shown.

2011
Alc: 14.65%
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec. Red and black fruit, some leafiness and graphite. Super-concentrated but not unduly weighty. Has a freshness about it and finishes long and dry – very impressive.

Rating: 93/100.

2012
Alc: 14.5%
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Quite heady on the nose with plenty of ripe berry fruit. Appears relatively sweet and smooth textured on the palate.

Rating: 91/100.

2013
Alc: 14.5%
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc. Extraordinarily primary in the context of the line-up. Pure fruit, fresh acidity and lovely ripe tannins. Should age particularly well.

Rating: 93/100.

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