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The High Road
Director's Reserve 2017

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Alwyn van der Merwe

Director of Investments

South African wine lovers are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to the style of wines these days. Not only does the sheer variety of full-bodied wines available make the decision of which one to enjoy next quite challenging, but the number of excellent medium-bodied wines now on the market is equally remarkable. One full-bodied wine I found particularly pleasing is The High Road Director’s Reserve 2017.

Over the past month or so we’ve witnessed several new releases of top-quality wines, including some from boutique producers. As a result, I’ve probably tasted more wine in recent weeks than I would normally do (perhaps also in anticipation of the holiday season slowly creeping up on us).

I’ve been left with two main observations. First, it’s obvious to me the quality of top-echelon South African wines is truly world-class. Second, winemakers have not limited themselves to a uniform wine style. I’ve tasted medium-bodied wines – or wines slightly lighter in style – of the highest standard, but also superb full-bodied wines, such as The High Road Director’s Reserve.

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Whenever I assess a wine, I’m always mindful of my own style and flavour profile preferences. One also needs to be careful not to be influenced by the narrative of the day. I've therefore tried to approach my experience of The High Road Director’s Reserve – which hails from the Stellenbosch region – with an open mind.

In my view, the name says it all – the Director’s Reserve 2017 is not your everyday wine. From the moment you pick up the bottle and pull the cork, it announces itself with a dominant presence. The wine is a cabernet sauvignon (65%) lead, Bordeaux-style blend.

The nose is expressive with a combination of berry, black currant and plum flavours. A distinct lead pencil undertone adds complexity to the nose.

The palate is full, intense and pure, and multi-dimensional – it offers flavours of dark fruit, dried tea leaves, cigar boxes and a hint of spice. The fine tannins provide some grip and the natural acidity adds the balance to complete a wonderful mouthfeel and aftertaste.

The Director’s Reserve 2017 drinks well now, but will reward the patient wine lover over the years, as the inherent structure in the wine will easily carry it for the next decade.


Sanlam Private Wealth clients can purchase the award-winning The High Road 5-star Platter Director’s Reserve 2017 for the special club price of R423 per bottle (cellar price R475), by filling in the form below.

All wine offers expire after 30 days. Subject to availability.

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