Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2021: Top 10

By , 11 May 2021

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Introduction

This year’s Cabernet Sauvignon Report sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient is now out. There were 86 entries received from 71 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by a three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.

Top 10

94

Brampton Roxton Black 2017
Price: R170
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14%

94

Neil Ellis Stellenbosch 2019
Price: R220
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14%

94

Rust en Vrede Single Vineyard 2018
Price: R980
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.78%

94

Warwick The Blue Lady 2017
Price: R400
Wine of Origin: Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.5%

93

Kruger Family Reserve 2018 (Stellenview Premium Wines)
Price: R205.60
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.63%

93

Paserene Midnight 2019
Price: R205
Wine of Origin: Western Cape
Abv: 14.08%

93

Stark-Condé Stellenbosch 2018
Price: R290
Wine of Origin: Jonkershoek Valley
Abv: 14%

93

Stellenbosch 1679 2018 (Koelenhof)
Price: R375
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.19%

93

Vergelegen Reserve 2015
Price: R390
Wine of Origin: Stellenbosch
Abv: 14.73%

93

Zorgvliet 2018
Price: R160
Wine of Origin: Banghoek
Abv: 14.19%

Warwick, Stellenbosch.

About the category

The traditional home of Cabernet Sauvignon is Bordeaux, particularly the so-called Left Bank vineyards situated west of the Gironde river and incorporating such famous appelations as Margaux, Pauillac, St-Estèphe, St-Julien and, further south, Graves.

Because Cabernet Sauvignon can be difficult to ripen fully, making for lean and astringent wines, it is often blended with plumper Merlot. However, the best wines from this variety display exceptionally deep colour, the characteristic aroma of blackcurrants (cassis) and a high level of tannins. In addition, they have an almost unequalled capacity to age in bottle.

In South Africa, Cabernet Sauvignon is the third most widely planted variety overall, making up 10.8% of the total area under vineyard at the end of 2020.

What does top Cabernet Sauvignon go for?

The average price of the 38 wines to rate 90-plus is R309 a bottle and of the Top 10 is R340. Offering the best quality relative to price is Neethlingshof 2017 with a rating of 92 and selling for R120 a bottle.

Discovery of Report

The “Discovery of Report” serves to recognise previously unsung wines.

91

Jakkalsvlei Barrel Selected 2019
Price: R160
Abv: 14.5%

Jakkalsvlei is a family-owned winery situated in the Garden Route, close to the village of Herbertsdale next to the Langeberg Mountains and winemaker is Louis van der Riet previously of De Krans. Maturation for this wine lasted 18 months in older French oak. The nose shows red and black berries, some herbal character and pencil shavings while the palate is poised with pure fruit, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins.

In-depth analysis

To read the report in full, including key findings, tasting notes for the top wines and scores on the 100-point quality scale for all wines entered, download the following: Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2021

Shop online

Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor is offering some of the wines in the Top 10 for sale and can deliver nationwide – buy now.

Online retailer Wine-of-the-Month Club is offering a six-bottle mixed case selected from the Top 10 – buy now.

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Comments

8 comment(s)

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  • Gareth12 May 2021

    Hi Christian,

    Could you please share your notes for the Anthonij Rupert and Oldenburg Per Se, they are usually favourites.

    Thanks

    • Christian Eedes12 May 2021

      Hi Gareth,

      Tasting notes as follows:

      Anthonij Rupert 2016: Plenty of oaky, malty, earthy character to go with red and black berries on the nose. The palate is rich and a bit listless – very ripe fruit and soft tannins. Appears quite evolved already – drink up. Rating: 88/100.

      Oldenburg Rondekop Per Se 2019: Red fruit, a pronounced herbal note and oak-derived cola on the nose. Light bodied with high, almost tart acidity and fine tannins. Rating: 87/100.

  • Hennie C11 May 2021

    As always the interest is almost more on the big players losing out than the winners. Interesting to see both Thelema and Tokara below 90. What did the panel dislike about those 2?

    Actually – a more pertinent question will probably be – what characteristics did the panel reward? I see in your summary that you dislike the lighter, red fruit style, but what else were you after in terms of the category?

    • Christian Eedes11 May 2021

      Hi Hennie,

      Tasting note for Thelema 2018: Red berries, loads of oak and some reduction on the nose. Palate appears light and a little simple. Rating: 87/100.

      Tasting note for Tokara Reserve Collection 2018: Very primary on the nose with a tobacco top note, dark berries and appealing oak-derived notes of vanilla and spice. Juicy, clean and fresh on the palate – a bit lean and unresolved at this stage. Rating: 89/100.

      As ever, the panel was looking for wines of weight and power while still retaining finesse and complexity. If ever there was a variety that’s not supposed to be drunk young, then its Cab and so we always aim to reward wines with a certain brightness of acidity, firmness of tannin and dryness of finish.

  • Donald11 May 2021

    2 wines scoring 94 with a price difference of over 800 bucks. You’ve gotta love these reports just for highlighting that alone.

    • Johan Kruger11 May 2021

      Makes the rookie winers wonder … ?

      • Mark Harrison12 May 2021

        Yes, Johan. Your wines are generally honest goodness whereas other wines trade on the fact that they have a long established reputation an at least some customers buy them to show off. It woul be lekker if there was a before and after rating, the after taking into account value for money (vfm).

  • Erwin+Lingenfelder11 May 2021

    I’m happy to see the heavyweights reappearing in the top 10.

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