ONE of Nederburg’s newly released apex wines, the Private Bin Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, is an expression of two clear priorities for the winery, says cellar-master Samuel Viljoen. “It’s aromatic, lithe and graceful but with considerable gravitas. More than that, it is emblematic of a new level of attention, not just in the cellar, but the vineyards, too.”
The first of these priorities is the stronger accent Nederburg is giving to Cabernet Sauvignon. “It was a natural progression. When we began consolidating the range, we looked at what we were doing best. Cabernet Sauvignon constitutes a big part of that. It’s the cellar’s hero grape now, and of course, this is our hero wine.”
The second is the focus on closer detailing in the vineyards and the cellar, thanks to ongoing investment in precision farming. Both priorities, Samuel believes, are yielding tangible benefits. “This wine, for example, scored 95/100 at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards and earned a gold medal at the 2022 The Drinks Business Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters. It’s also eliciting very positive comments from tasters locally and abroad.”
He adds that a dose of back to basic multi-crop farming has also proved highly beneficial. “We’ve been cover cropping in the vineyards for many years now to build soil health and biodiversity. It helps reduce evaporation and regulate soil and ambient temperatures. It also helps to fix nitrogen, aerate, moisturise, and enrich the soil.”
Grapes for this wine, matured for 28 months in new small French oak, were sourced from two vineyard blocks, each with a track record for delivering outstanding fruit. One is a dryland vineyard in Philadelphia that is cooled by summer afternoon sea breezes, making for slow, balanced ripening. The other is on the mid-level slopes of Simonsberg Mountains in Simondium and produces intensely flavoured, small-berried but loose-bunched grapes.
- August 30 is International Cabernet Sauvignon Day