The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2013: Top 10 Wines

By , 23 May 2013



CE Cab Report 2013 logoThe second annual Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report presented in conjunction with Sanlam Private Investments is now out. This involved putting together a line-up of 60 high-profile wines, either currently available or soon to be released, and then subjecting them to a blind tasting.

The top 10 wines were as follows:

La Bri 2009
Price: R95

Le Riche Reserve 2010
Price: R300

Graham Beck The Coffeestone Cabernet 2011
Price: Not yet released.

Guardian Peak Lapa 2010
Price: R220

Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve 2010
Price: R190

Rudera 2011
Price: R185

Springfield Méthode Ancienne 2006
Price: R230

Thelema 2009
Price: R175

Waterford 2009
Price: R165

Rust en Vrede 2010
Price: R220

To read the tasting report in full, download the following: Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2013



10 comment(s)

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  • elias27 May 2013

    IMHO I’m quite happy to see some bigger(15%) yet balanced wines in the Top 10. If Le Riche makes a 5* wine in this style, why should they try to change this? This is Africa and surely its normal to get these styles as long as all the components are in harmony, forget about what the back label says. Kudos to the comp being blind and honest.

  • Diam Ditsem25 May 2013

    Great report on SAs best cultivar. How many instances of TCA were detected?

    • Christian25 May 2013

      H Diam Ditsem, The panel called for a second bottle in only one instance (Dalla Cia Classico 2010). It’s also worth noting that out of the 60 wines under review, only five were closed under screwcap (Flagstone Music Room 2010, Jordan 2010, Neil Ellis 2010, Perdeberg 2011 and Tokara 2011).

  • Roland24 May 2013

    Good notes Christian, I hope wine-lovers read them and don’t just look at the stars. I think its great having a variance of styles in the top 10. We all like different wines.
    DPJ – The Lapa and R&V are unquestionably big modern wines, but having tasted them again yesterday I really believe that they are well balanced. I wouldn’t drink them on their own, but can’t think of a better local match with a rare rump at the local Hussar.
    Le Riche Res 2010 at 15% Alcohol? Sure we would all like to see it less and I reckon Christo will get there soon. But a) there is no gawky greeness as there was apparent in many of the other wines and on the 2009 ‘Mint’ b) the wine is balanced, fresh and not hot c) the wine finishes dry on the palate d) Haut Brion and Cheval blanc are both 15% in 2012 and it wasn’t a warm vintage (albeit different varieties)

  • Albrecht Gantz24 May 2013

    Well done on this report again Cristian. Reading through the report though, I’m surprised (disappointed) by the age-ability of these Top10 Cabs. I’d thought one of these may deliver wrt my search for (bar fortified wines) that awesome 2010 red that I can keep till 2031. Really had my hopes on the Le Riche Res ’10 – maybe bigger bottle format?

    • Christian24 May 2013

      Hi Albrecht, My recommendations concerning ageability are 1) inherently conservative and 2) meant to suggest when I think the majority of wine drinkers will get the most enjoyment out of a particular wine. The appreciation of any wine depends on the individual taster’s tolerance for developed character past a certain point.

      • Derek Prout-Jones24 May 2013

        CE, I absolutely agree with your response. As a long time cellarer of “good” SA reds of proven gene pool, my experience has often outperformed the general view on Aging. Of course cellar conditions are also vital. Your comments are well made.

  • Derek Prout-Jones23 May 2013

    Congrats on a comprehensive report. Most of the “expected” wines were entered. A few surprises for me:
    – La Bri’s success at the top of the pile is an interesting one
    – I love the Lapa Cab and think the 2010 is a bold wine but well balanced. Surprised that it found favor with RP given his preference for austerity (hope that’s not unfair RP?)
    – I am also a big fan of BkLF Cab and totally agree that the 2010 is the most approachable of all the vintages at this young age. Time will tell if it ages like some of its predecessors? The 2001 is still in great shape IMHO
    – Very glad Thelema showed well. Once one accepts the Mint edge as sought after element as opposed to a fault, you can appreciate the quality of the wine and its ability to age as well
    – I do believe the Kanonkop warrants a higher rating given its pedigree and especially it’s age-ability
    – Ditto for the Peter Barlow
    – I would appreciate CE’s view on the TOKARA cab given how well the (2009?) did last year. Why the fall from grace?
    – Lastly, I was surprised at the score of the Meerlust Cab. I have been very impressed with the earlier vintages in terms of how well they have been made – great balance, structure and restraint. Recently had the 2004 (CW’s maiden I think) and it was superb.
    Nonetheless, congrats to the 3 judges on a valuable contribution to the cultivar

    • Christian24 May 2013

      Hi Derek,
      La Bri has had a string of capable winemakers – Jocelyn Wilson (ex Flagstone), Marius Lategan (ex Morgnester) and now Irene Waller (ex Graham Beck) so not impossible that something decent ended up in the bottle. The Merlot 2010, of course, was best in class at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show last year.

      The Guardian Peak Lapa 2010 certainly is bold but I think there’s a broad spread of styles among the top and hopefully nobody can accuse the panel of bias one way or another.

      I loved the Boekenhoutskloof 2010 (18/20) but RP (15.5/20) and JP (15.5/20) less so, with it viewed as “easy going” by the former and “old school, green” by the latter. Of course, exercises such as this should never be considered entirely absolute but rather a broad indication of form. A trend I think is worth taking note of is the Graham Beck The Coffeestone and Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve in the top 10 two years running. You ask specifically about Tokara, and my response would be that I think this is intended as a fairly modest wine, the 2009 over-performing last year rather than the 2011 under-performing this year.

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