Craven Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

I went digging for this Craven Cab that I'd initially considered ageing.

I'm so glad that I decided to open it a little it's a lighter bodied Cabernet Sauvignon - not something you often see in Stellenbosch Cabs.

The Wine:

A surprising medium ruby with a pronounced nose of kirsch, cranberries, cassis, pepper, rose petals and Turkish delights.

Dry, medium body, medium+ acidity and serious but fine tannins. The berries repeat on the palate but include olive tapenade, plum and a little hint of liquorice and smoke.

Vini + Viti:

The grapes are 19 year old Polkadraai vines grown on decomposed granite and clay.

100% whole bunch fermented, pressed slightly earlier than totally dry to control the tannins, fermentation completed in tank, and matured in neutral French oak for 10 months.

I just did a double take at the 12.5% ABV for a Stellenbosch Cab! It’s slightly lighter in style, but still rich and juicy and beautiful.


Balance (1) + Length (1) + Intensity (½) + Complexity (1) = A very good wine.

Drink now, but has potential for further ageing.

Final Thoughts:

I've always looked forward to new Craven Wine releases. This multinational winemaking couple (half South African and half Australian) have been exploring the  range of sites and terrroir of Stellenbosch, crafting site specific wines that celebrate the district. They believe in hands off winemaking, erring on the side of lower intervention without the use of cultured yeasts, enzymes or fining agents. They also only use old oak, preferably large format barrels, letting their wines settle naturally and only adding a minimal dose of SO2.

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