This Cabernet Franc is made from a single vineyard planted in 2003 and the clone is 623B. The vines are trellised and under drip irrigation and the soil type is calcareous. The selection process for this special cuvée already started with the identification of this specific vineyard and working at it with special care from pruning right through to harvesting ensuring a low yield (not more than 5 tons per hectare) and premium quality fruit.
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness at 25 °Balling (Brix). After de-stemming and slight crushing the mash was taken to open concrete tanks where it was allowed to ferment naturally (wild yeast). During fermentation the temperature was regulated between 25-28ºC and the cap regularly wetted by the traditional manual punch-down method every two hours. This together with pumping-over of the must onto the skins allows the colour and flavour to be extracted very effectively.
It took five days to ferment dry and was then left on the skins for another 5 days before racking and pressing. After malolactic fermentation started the wine was transferred to new 300 litre French oak barrels where it was left to mature for 24 months.
THE WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS
Rietvallei JMB Cabernet Franc is a 100% cultivar wine. It is a full-bodied, complex wine with excellent fruit and wood integration. Lots of work in the vineyard and minimal interference in the cellar allows this wine to express its terroir to the fullest. Deep ruby red, almost black in colour. Expressive aromas of black current, plums, pencil shavings and spicy tasted oak on the nose. On the palate, the black current and plum flavours persist, backed and well complimented by the toasty oak flavours from the 26-month new oak aging. The tannins are sumptuous making this is a well-rounded wine which is showing beautifully now in its youth but which has the structure and fruit to mature for a good 10+ years.
FOOD PAIRING & SERVING SUGGESTION
This wine will pair beautifully with rare roast beef or lamb and with more complex dishes of feathered game. Serve at room temperature (18ºC).
Residual Sugar: 3.34 g/l
Alcohol: 14.40 %
Acidity: 6.28 g/l
PH: 3.40 VA: 0.67 g/l
Total Extract: 43.4 g/l
Total SO2: 122 mg/l
Free SO2: 37 mg/l