Warwick Cabernet Franc 1988 vs 1992 vs 1995

By , 16 June 2020



Doing fine.

The late Stan Ratcliffe bought Stellenbosch property Warwick in 1964 and wife Norma started making wine on an experimental basis in 1971, commercial production starting in 1985. The maiden vintage of the single-variety Cabernet Franc was 1988 and because the farm was keen to see how this might be faring, a bottle was dispatched along with the 1992 and 1995 and suffice to say, they are all holding up remarkably well. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Warwick Cabernet Franc 1988
Dark fruit, boot polish and undergrowth on the nose – tertiary in a good way, maturation lending complexity rather than simply causing decay. The palate is lean but still pretty much intact, the acidity fresh and the finish savoury. Alcohol: 12.5%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Warwick Cabernet Franc 1992
Red and black fruit plus a hint of undergrowth on the nose. The richest and ripest of the three wines (alcohol: 13%) – good fruit concentration, slightly tart acidity and tannins that are still relatively firm. Still has some life in it.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Warwick Cabernet Franc 1995
Red fruit, a hint of rose-like perfume, some attractive herbal character and spice. Light bodied with fresh acidity and fine, mouth-coating tannins, this is arguably the truest to variety of the three. At its peak but a pleasure to drink. Alcohol: 12.5%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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1 comment(s)

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    Gareth | 22 June 2020

    Nice to see that SA Can Franc, and reds in general can last the test of time.
    Christian, what I’d really love to see, perhaps in future 10 year reports, is the tasting note and score when winemag rated the wine on release next to the note and score of the aged wine. It would be fascinating to see the evolution.

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