Stellenbosch, South Africa
Cabernet Sauvignon 58%
Cabernet Franc 11%
Phoenix rising. Marked by the worst drought on record, 2018 presented some significant challenges.
After the driest three-year period (2015-2017) in recent history; water resources in the Western Cape
were at an all-time low, putting water supplies under immense pressure and leading to strict water
rationing. Early in the growing season, water received from the Berg River Water Scheme was cut
to forty-five percent of usual allocation, and then further cut to twenty percent in December. Low
soil moisture in Spring, and limited water available for irrigation led to reduced vigour and canopy
size. Some unseasonable rain and low temperatures in October and November disrupted fruit set
and reduced the number and size of berries on each cluster. Harvest timing was normal, beginning on
February 2nd and continued uninterrupted through February 27th.
It was humbling to see how well our vineyards fared under such sustained drought conditions.
Noteworthy is the small berry size for this vintage; on average berries were twenty-five percent
smaller by variety and largely under a gram per berry, adding to concentration.
Twenty-two months in sixty-nine percent new French oak barrique, with the balance in older French Oak. Thirty-six barrels were produced.