It’s been a while since I had a straight Cabernet Franc. I’d grown rather fond of their aromatics, rich fruit and lighter tannins. I’d also pick up this mineral character from them that I absolutely adore and would be a dead give away of its inclusion in Bordeaux styled blends for me. The few South African producers doing it have been my only reference so far having tasted only a hand full of Loire Valley expressions. Nonetheless, they made enough of an impression to last.
Three months ago I came across another one from Rietvallei’s JMB range. It was a 2011 vintage. The grapes for this wine were sourced from a single vineyard in the Robertson Valley. Said grapes were then harvested when fully ripe and placed in open top concrete tanks where they were allowed to ferment naturally. On completion of fermentation, the wine was subsequently left in contact with the grape skins to extract more flavour and colour. Following this the wine was placed in 100 % new French oak barrels for a whopping 26 months.
“Rich concentrated, dark and layered” were my first sentiments. Breaking it apart further, I picked up and an ever so slight green character tangled with spice (paprika actually). The fruit itself was angled towards poached lush red berries. Despite showing prominent tannins, the texture was silky smooth with a fresh finish. Classy wine.