Stay abreast of COVID-19 information and developments here

Provided by the South African National Department of Health     


Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

author image

Alwyn van der Merwe

Director of Investments

Cape winters are synonymous with crackling log fires, hearty stews and of course, sumptuous red wine. My favourite cultivar remains cabernet, and I recently had the privilege of sampling the 2015 vintage of a Stellenbosch producer with an esteemed pedigree: Hartenberg Estate.

Like other passion investments such as art and cars, the appreciation of wine is a highly personal experience. But as is the case with traditional investing, ‘pattern’ established over time does provide enhanced objectivity. So I think it’s safe to say that local wine producers can easily hold their own against the best shiraz wines in the world, and that reputable Stellenbosch cabernet sauvignons have carved out their own niche on the global cabernet stage.

(The one cultivar with which we’ve achieved limited success compared to the world’s best, is merlot. Having said this, however, South Africa does have a number of estates producing top-class merlots.)

Hartenberg Estate, on the slopes of Bottelary Hills outside Stellenbosch, is one of the farms to produce great red wines over the years. It would be unfair, however, to classify the estate only as a red wine producer – its chardonnay, The Eleanor, is simply too good to be ignored.

I tasted the Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 earlier this month, and it’s an exceptional vintage. When pouring this wine, one immediately becomes aware of its full intensity in the glass. Despite being three years old, the nose is still youthful, with upfront black fruit and cherry flavours – beautifully complemented by cedar or cigar box aromas. The primary fruit flavours also present themselves keenly on the palate.

This wine is so much more than the primary flavours, however. It is complex, as the natural acidity and the fine tannin structure fill the mid-palate and allow for a full, elegant and silky mouthfeel.

When I drank this wine I was grateful that cellar master Carl Schultz didn’t fall into the trap of trying to make a showy wine that is overripe and overly extracted. He’s instead succeeded in delighting the drinker with a taste that lingers long after one has enjoyed a sip of this classic Stellenbosch cabernet.

Thank you for your email, we'll get back to you shortly