Buitenverwachting Cabernet Franc 2014

By , 7 September 2022



The Constantia Wine Route recently held a tasting to showcase its red wines – whereas 43% of the 435ha of what’s planted in this ward is Sauvignon Blanc, the next two most widely occurring varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, together making up some 17%.

Constantia wants to leverage its “cool climate” credentials and you might think that this would facilitate the slow accumulation of sugars and therefore the ability to achieve phenolic ripeness at lower alcohol levels but the stand-out wine of the tasting was the currently-available Cabernet Franc 2014 from Buitenverwachting clocking in at 15.2% alcohol.

Matured for 26 months in French oak barrels, of which 100% was new, the nose is complex with notes of dark berries, potpourri, some leafiness, undergrowth, earth and pencil shavings while the palate is well proportioned with dense fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins. It carries its alcohol well and comes across as still very youthful. Price: R380 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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3 comment(s)

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    George | 15 September 2022

    I doubt I’m alone in preferring Buit’s Meifort to Christine. The 2017 Meifort is drinking beautifully now while the 2018 is still very youthful. And wasn’t the latter recognised as best wine in show at the 2021 Trophy Wine Show? So, not too shabby.
    The only downside for me is I haven’t been able to find Meifort in the UK for the past couple of years.

    Gareth | 14 September 2022

    I used to be a huge fan of Buiten, having grown up nearby. I started collecting the Christine from the 2003 vintage and often would load a case of their straight cab as well as it was very well priced.
    However I’ve found that so many of the bottles I bought were tainted when eventually opened years later (yes, they were stored correctly), and I feel quality has dropped so much in recent years that I stopped buying their wine some years ago altogether. I notice that none of their wines appear in Tim Atkins’ report either, for reasons unbeknown to me…
    The cab franc sound intriguing, but I wonder about the longevity (and drinkability!) of a >15% wine like this…

      Christian Eedes | 14 September 2022

      Hi Gareth, The Cab Franc 2014 is already eight years after vintage and looking great – alcohol, of course, is often used as a preservative. That said, Christine 2015 tasted on the same day was looking a little awkward and tired. The upshot? As with any producer, consider each release separately rather than taking a blanket approach.

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