Warwick Trilogy 2019

By , 8 August 2022



To mark the release of the 2019 vintage of the Cape Bordeaux Red Blend that is Trilogy from Warwick in Stellenbosch, winemaker JD Pretorius showed it next to the 1997, 2009 and 2014 vintages thus allowing an insight into the local industry’s different phases. “The 1980s and 1990s were marked by low alcohol levels; the 2000s saw higher alcohols and lots of oak; and since 2010, we’ve seen the pendulum swing back – less alcohol, less oak, brighter acidities and less extraction. The focus is now on freshness and drinkability,” he says.

Pretorius’s agenda in showing the wines together was that all four vintages in question were “cooler than the norm”. The 1997, with an alcohol of 12.5%, showed significant variation across different bottles, the first appearing thin and weedy while the second was very much intact and rather elegant. I thought 2009 at 14.26% alcohol was over-extracted and a bit listless (although others liked it for its power) while 2014 (alc: 13.92%) is currently in a very good space.

As for 2019, there was an abnormal amount of rain during the growing season making ripening difficult while the cooler temperatures resulted in grapes with thinner skins. In the cellar, Pretorius was keen to avoid over-extraction and the new oak percentage and maturation period was reduced.

Consisting of 48% Cabernet Franc, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, time in barrel was 20 months, new oak amounting to 34%. Aromatics are discreet with notes of red and black berries, tea leaf, violets and fresh herbs plus vanilla while the palate is medium-bodied (alcohol: 14.39%) with fresh acidity and fine tannins. An understated wine with pleasing fruit purity. Price: R575 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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1 comment(s)

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    Graham Benson | 11 April 2023

    A sensational wine…drinking well now but will remain at top level for many years to come…another great /Stellenbosch blend…I started sampling S A wines 50 years ago and have been a steady enthusiast ever since…have been lucky enough to make several trips to great wineries that have prospered and grown…

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