Taaibosch Crescendo 2020

By , 5 December 2023



Crescendo from Taaibosch in Stellenbosch is rapidly shaping as a super-reliable mid-tier example of a Cape Bordeaux red blend. The newly released 2020 comes to market at R415 a bottle so more expensive than John X Merriman from Rustenberg at R240 a bottle, for instance, but quite a bit less than MR de Compostella at R2 050 a bottle.

A blend of 49% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, it was matured for 13 months in 225-litre barrels, of which 30% new, before a further 12 months in foudre and cement. The nose show red berries, sea breeze, herbs, a hint of rose and earth while the palate is medium bodied with good fruit definition, fresh acidity and fine tannins. It’s stylish and elegant, maybe even a bit staid…

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

  • This review was amended on 18 January 2024 – the blend components were corrected after the discussion in the comments section. Also, I have revised my score down from 93 to 92 after a vertical tasting of the 2018 – 2020 vintages hosted by the producer.


4 comment(s)

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    Vernon | 6 December 2023

    Thanks, Christian, both for the update on the blend and your comments on wine style. I’m building a Crescendo vertical so it’ll be interesting to see in future years how the 2020 compares with its predecessors.

    Vernon | 5 December 2023

    Hi Christian,
    the 2019 Taaibosch blend is certainly 65%/26%/9% and I’ve read elsewhere the 2020 is 60%/30%/10%. Can you clarify?
    “Staid” isn’t a term I’ve seen you use before. A euphemism for “likely to be popular with the unadventurous drinker”?
    Which other Cape Bordeaux blends would you describe as “a bit staid”? Rubicon maybe? ‘Bill Winshaw’?

      Christian Eedes | 6 December 2023

      Hi Vernon, Taaibosch doesn’t have analytics for the 2020 on the website and I confess that I’m quoting third-party sources when it comes to the blend components – as you point out, 65:26:9 is exactly the same as 2019 which seems too much of a coincidence. Waiting on the farm to clarify…

      As for the term “staid”, I think Crescendo 2020 is so technically accurate as to lack X-factor. How to have the broadest possible appeal without sacrificing singularity is a conundrum for all producers attempting to scale.

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