Delaire Graff Laurence Graff Reserve 2018
By Christian Eedes, 14 June 2023
The Laurence Graff Reserve, pinnacle wine from Stellenbosch property Delaire Graff, is named after its English jeweller owner. Always a single-variety Cabernet Sauvignon, grapes come from a mother block of clone 169 chosen on account of producing “balanced and well-structured wines with round tannins” and planted in 2001.
Maiden vintage was 2009 but it isn’t bottled every year, with 2010, 2016 and 2019 the vintages to be declassified so far.
The 2018 has just become available at R4 800 a bottle. Winemaker Morné Vrey says that if 2017 was a “classic” vintage, then 2018 is “rich and plush”. Matured for 18 months in barrel, of which 80% was new, the nose shows red and black berries, floral fragrance, pencil shavings and attractive oak spice while the palate has luscious fruit, bright acidity and velvety tannins, the finish gently dry. It is indeed soft and luxuriant but stops short of being ingratiating.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
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