** These are the last few bottles of the Decanter-recommended 2015 vintage. The 2016 is available and, in our view, is quite excellent. **
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article (see blue link below). The 2015 is no longer available at the UK importer (we have a few bottles remaining); we highly recommend this equally excellent 2016 vintage.
Gabriëlskloof, The Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review
The Landscape Series of wines is an authentic representation of Gabrielskloof's top vineyards, as well as a few old vine treasures. They wanted the labels to reflect this and decided to commission local artist and friend Niël Jonker to capture the spirit of the Overberg landscapes.
The 2015 vintage led to early proclamations that it is a Cape classic, and the wines are certainly backing this up. In his fourth annual guide to South African wines, award-winning wine writer and Master of Wine Tim Atkin says the 2015 is “the best I’ve tasted in 26 years...” A wet 2014 provided ample reserves for the vines to develop happily through the warm and dry summer leading to early, but full ripeness and beautifully balanced wines.
The fruit for this wine comes from a single vineyard, mountainside site on the Gabriëlskloof property. The soil is a combination of Overberg Shale and Table Mountain Sandstone, with this complexity transferred into the wine through a lovely mix of fruit and spice. The vineyard is 15 years old, and this maturity shows in the depth and character of the wine.
100% Cabernet Franc.
The fruit was hand-picked into small crates and transferred directly into their cool room where it remained overnight. 90% of the crop was destemmed with the remaining 10% left as whole clusters. The wine was fermented wild and aged in 500-litre barrels for 18 months, 30% of which were new; all were French oak.
The wine is unmistakably Cabernet Franc, with notes of tobacco leaf, bell pepper and plum leading into an elegant, refined palate with fine tannins and just enough grip to balance the concentrated red fruit.