Nico van der Merwe Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

By , 19 May 2023

Nico van der Merwe made Polkadraai Hills property Saxenburg famous in the 1990s. He went on to found his own label, the maiden release of the Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz blend known as Mas Nicolas being 1999.

This long-time winemaker continues to produce the goods, his Chenin Blanc 2019 rating 92 and the 2020 vintage 90 in the recent Prescient category report (both available for R250 a bottle).

Much more ambitious is the Nico van der Merwe Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, only 600 bottles made and selling for R2 500 a bottle.

Matured for 15 months in 100% new 225-litre barrels, this has all the heft you could possibly want from top-end single-variety Cab. Plums, cassis, some leafiness, tilled earth, vanilla and spice on the nose precede a palate that has extraordinary depth of fruit but also freshness, the tannins fine-grained. It’s rich and creamy in texture, sweet on entry but the finish fundamentally savoury. Alc: 14.5%.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


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