Main Road and Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
With vines planted by proprietors Craig and Anne Wessels in 1999, Restless River has some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The valley is well renowned for its cooler climate and the Wessels believe it is fundamental that their vines reflect this distinctive, marginal environment in which they grow; passing their unique characteristics onto the grapes, and ultimately, the wine.
How the wine was made:
Select parcels were hand-picked over a period of 4-5 weeks in March and April. After a light destemming, the grapes were naturally fermented in small open bins, without temperature control. One or two quick punch downs a day kept the skins healthy whilst the various indigenous yeasts made the wine. After a long maceration, the skins were pressed in our old basket press. The wine was gravity fed to French oak barriques, where it was raised sur lie and undisturbed for 23 months. It was then racked from barrel and allowed a few more weeks to integrate before being bottled without fining. The wine was then bottle aged for a further two years before release.
Where are the vineyards?
Restless River farm is in the cooler Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, at 850ft, three km from the Atlantic Ocean. This Cabernet Sauvignon is from two Single Vineyard registered blocks (the wine is named after these blocks) 3ha in total. Slopes are east, north and south facing. Shallow top soils vary from grey, sandy gravels to very rocky sandstone and koffie klip (coffeestone). Below this is deep, decomposed granite clay. Vines are 20 years old, with low and rickety trellising lending a bushvine-style approach to the viticulture. Struggle is encouraged and this marginal site for cab only yields between 1500 to 2500 litres per hectare.
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