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Cabernet Sauvignon, Rustenberg

Rustenberg
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Technical Analysis
Alcohol
14.0
Residual sugar
2.0
pH
3.75
Acidity
5.6
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Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg's plantings are dedicated to it.
Tasting note

The wine shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon flavour and aroma profiles of dark berries and tobacco with a well-structured and lengthy palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malolactic Fermentation
Yes
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Murray Barlow
Fining Agent
Egg white
Closure
Cork
Region
Stellenbosch
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

The winter of 2021 was very cold and wet following a warm autumn. Bud burst was late and the cold, wet weather continued into Spring, requiring careful disease and canopy management. The cool, wet weather extended until the middle of December, delaying the growing season for the red varietals in Stellenbosch. From the middle of December onwards the weather warmed up considerably with three heatwaves being experienced in January and one in February. Despite this warmer weather the red wine harvest required patience as the tannins took some time to fully ripen. March and April were moderate temperature-wise and we experienced the odd shower. The decision to delay harvesting was rewarded with excellent concentration and ripeness in the red wines. The marathon vintage ended in late April and was the biggest and longest vintage in Rustenberg’s history.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump-overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second, 20% third and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 15 months’ maturation.

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
14.0
Residual sugar
3.2
pH
3.63
Acidity
5.5
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg's plantings are dedicated to it.
Tasting note

The wine shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon flavour and aroma profiles of dark berries and tobacco with a well-structured and lengthy palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malolactic Fermentation
Yes
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Murray Barlow
Fining Agent
Egg white
Closure
Cork
Region
Stellenbosch
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

The 2020 vintage will be remembered as a good vintage produced under the spectre of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the globe. Fortunately, the harvest was not impacted by the government-sanctioned lockdowns, allowing all fruit to be picked and processed when ripe. A good winter in 2019 saw a return to average rainfall for the year. Two unusual weather events in the growing season, a large rainstorm and a heat wave, impacted some varietals flowering and berry set, however, in the context of the entire vintage these had a minor impact. Crop levels were up by 15% from the 2019 vintage, which saw a return to yields being average to slightly above average for most varietals. Quality wise, the reds tend to be more medium-bodied with moderate alcohols, good freshness and supple tannins, potentially to be enjoyed earlier.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump-overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second-, 20% third- and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 15 months’ maturation.

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
14.0
Residual sugar
2.7
pH
3.58
Acidity
5.5
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg's plantings are dedicated to it.
Tasting note

The wine shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon flavour and aroma profiles of dark berries and tobacco with a well-structured and lengthy palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malolactic Fermentation
Yes
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Fining Agent
Egg white
Closure
Cork
Region
Stellenbosch
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

The 2019 vintage was a challenging one for the Rustenberg team. While the winter of 2018 was a welcome break from the previous four winters of drought, most vineyards had not fully recovered and produced below average yields. A warm snap in June and a wet spring, coupled with a wetter than average summer harvesting season made 2019 a challenge, with some late harvest thinning or multiple harvests of the same vineyard required to achieve uniformity. Early- and mid-season-ripening varieties performed well, all achieving flavour ripeness at lower alcohol levels, while late-ripening varieties required patience and extended time on the vines, again achieving lower alcohols overall, but creating ripe, structured wines.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump-overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second-, 20% third- and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 15 months’ maturation.

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
14.0
Residual sugar
3.1
pH
3.57
Acidity
5.9
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg's plantings are dedicated to it.
Tasting note

The wine shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon flavour and aroma profiles of dark berries and tobacco with a well-structured and lengthy palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malolactic Fermentation
Yes
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Murray Barlow
Fining Agent
Egg white
Closure
Cork
Region
Stellenbosch
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

2018 was impacted by the fourth year of the ongoing drought in the region. The 2017 winter was cold and dry, followed by a dry spring and summer with bouts of unusual weather. A number of thunderstorms resulted in a late onset of additional vigour in the vineyards. Unsettled weather and wind during flowering, along with a freak hail storm and low levels of soil moisture decreased yields by 20% to 50%. The harvest began closer to its average start date and the smaller berries and bunches yielded lower juice volumes per ton. The lower yields resulted in the wines showing excellent concentration and body, producing rich, robust reds.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump-overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second-, 20% third- and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 15 months’ maturation.

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
14.0
Residual sugar
2.7
pH
3.57
Acidity
5.3
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg's plantings are dedicated to it.
Tasting note

The wine shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon flavour and aroma profiles of dark berries and tobacco with a well-structured and lengthy palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malolactic Fermentation
Yes
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Yes
Winemaker
Murray Barlow
Fining Agent
Egg white
Closure
Cork
Region
Stellenbosch
Vegan
No

Vintage conditions

The winter of 2016 was dry but cold as drought conditions persisted in the Western Cape. Despite the drought, a warm, dry spring and little wind meant that there was little disease pressure and little stress on the vineyards beyond the heat. Harvest started slightly earlier than usual but was 10 days later than the record early start of the 2016 vintage. Careful use of irrigation to offset the dry drought conditions and cold nights experienced during the first four months of the year resulted in superb quality, and wonderful acidity, colour and flavour concentration in the wines.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second-, 20% third- and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 15 months’ maturation.

Technical Analysis
Alcohol
14.0
Residual sugar
3.3
pH
3.58
Acidity
5.8
Download Specification Sheet Download Full Size Images
Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg range are synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon: just over one third of Rustenberg's plantings are dedicated to it.
Tasting note

The wine shows typical Cabernet Sauvignon flavour and aroma profiles of dark berries and tobacco with a well-structured and lengthy palate.

Origin
South Africa
Variety
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malolactic Fermentation
Yes
Bottle Size
75cl
Vegetarian
Blank
Winemaker
Murray Barlow
Fining Agent
Egg white
Closure
Cork
Region
Stellenbosch
Vegan
Blank

Vintage conditions

Following a warm start to the year, the winter of 2015 was dry but cold enough to allow the estate’s vineyards to properly rest. A very warm, dry spring and summer resulted in an early bud-burst and record high temperatures in December and January brought forward the need to irrigate. As in 2015, the vintage started very early. In the middle of January Rustenberg was engulfed in fire as the entire Simonsberg mountain burnt, sadly destroying 5 hectares of the estate’s vineyards. Generally very low yields of concentrated fruit make the wines of the 2016 vintage upfront and opulent.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to 20% new, 40% second-, 20% third- and 20% fourth-fill French 225L oak barrels for 16 months’ maturation.