The current-release Méthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 from Robertson property Springfield is extraordinary. Grapes from a vineyard planted in 1979 on a rocky quartz soil, the winemaking involved 1) crushing before fermentation leading to a particularly high level of extraction – subsequent vintages would see a switch to whole berry maceration and 2) the first time spontaneous fermentation used for a red wine in this cellar. Maturation, meanwhile, lasted 24 months in 100% new oak.
The wine is in superb condition. The nose shows plenty of cherry and cassis plus hints of crushed herbs, olive, cigar box, tilled earth and undergrowth. The palate is deep and serious – full of flavour and impeccably balanced. A lovely core of fruit, a great line of acidity and fine tannins. Does it get extra points for being so wonderfully intact 21 years on from vintage? Most definitely so. Price: R728 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 97/100.
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