The most planted variety at Excelsior. Vines vary in age from 5 – 20 years. Water stress is used to produce tiny, concentrated berries.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted variety on the Estate making
up 43% of all plantings. The soil is mainly limestone based, although a
small portion comes from shale. The goal of the wine is to make wine that
shows lots of fruit flavor, as well as soft tannins, whilst maintain a good
structure. This is achieved via very strict canopy management to prevent
shaded fruit and harvesting at optimal ripeness.
The grapes are harvested by hand for greater quality control. The wines
are immediately destemmed but not crushed. Fermentation took place
in stainless steel tanks for a period of 7 days at a temperature of between
28 and 32˚ Celsius. Aerated racking was done twice daily to ensure a
clean ferment and soft tannins. The grapes were gently pressed in a
bladder press, after which malo-lactic fermentation was completed in
40% of the total wine was aged in a mixture of French and American oak
for a period of 9 months, whilst the remaining wine was tank aged. All
terroir units were aged separately and then combined at blending.
This is widely regarded as the El Nino year in South Africa. The summer
was hotter and riper than normal which required some adaptation in the
vineyards to ensure a quality grape harvest. Grapes were harvested
earlier than normal to ensure that there was freshness in the wines. The
positive aspect of the drought was a very healthy crop with good
concentration. The red wines from 2017 are rich and very structured.
Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Petit Verdot 10%
Residual Sugar 2.9g/l
This Cabernet Sauvignon displays ripe blackcurrant, and dried herb
characters on the nose, which are backed up with some spicy oak notes.
The palate is smooth and soft, with beautiful ripe tannins and a long
Food pairing by in-house chef
With the blackcurrant and dried herb character it’s a spot-on choice
to pare a juicy medium sirloin steak