Cab always used to be king but these days there are few who want a wine which requires an extended period of bottle maturation before it’s ready to broach. Warwick in Stellenbosch seem to have come up with a solution in the form of The First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon which remains recognizable as Cabernet in the sense of displaying concentrated fruity flavour but is not overly austere or demanding in terms of structure. The current release 2009 is a blend of Stellenbosch and Robertson fruit and gets its easy drinkability from a modest approach to oak, the wine having spent 12 months in a combination of second- and third-fill French barrels. Total production was 12 500 cases, the wine having an approximate retail price of R65 a bottle, which means you should be able to drink it fairly regularly this winter.
In other news, Nic van Aarde, previously of Mulderbosch under Mike Drobovic as well as having plenty of international experience, starts as winemaker at Warwick in May.