Le Bonheur Cabernet Sauvignon 1989

By , 18 November 2022



For whatever reason, the 1980s are something of a forgotten decade in the history of South African wine although one property that does get spoken of with some reverence is Le Bonheur in Stellenbosch, then-owner Michael Woodhead famed for his dedication to his vineyards which resulted in Cabernet Sauvignon that was among the best in the country.

Yesterday a bottle of the 1989, which proved to be goosebumps-inducing good. Red and black berries, some attractive herbal character, tomato cocktail and just the slightest note of undergrowth on the nose. A good core of fruit, bright acidity, the tannins pretty much resolved but the finish wonderfully dry. Light-bodied, still very much intact, and wonderfully detailed (alcohol: 13%).

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.   


2 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

    Greg Sherwood | 18 November 2022

    On my next trip to SA, I’ll be pulling a few of the 89 and 90 Le Bonheur Cabs out my cellar and bringing back to London for blind fine wine lunches. All good things must eventually come to an end! Wonder if my Le Bonheur Prima 1995s are still drinking well!? Sakkie Kotze was a legendary winemaker.

    Pieter de Klerk | 18 November 2022

    And to think Le Bonheur made at least three better Cabernets in the eighties (’82, ’84 & ’86)… I remember how excited we got about the Le Bonheur Cab and the first Klein Constantia Cabernets (’86 & ’87), partly because they were fuller, deeper wines than the norm at the time. Even so, the alcohol levels were still only at 13-13.5%. Years later, we’re all so used to the enormous wines of our time that a wine like this is considered light-bodied. I’m salivating all over my keyboard – how I miss classic Cabernets!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.