WINEMAKER: Abrie Beeslaar
VARIETALS: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot
ORIGIN: Simonsberg, Stellenbosch
CLIMATE: A very dry and hot growing season which resulted In lower yields
AGE OF VINES: 29 years on average
IRRIGATION: Combination of dry land vineyards and supplemental irrigation
SOIL: Decomposed granite, Hutton and Clovelly soils
YIELD: 4 tons/ha – 2750 litres/ha
VINIFICATION: 5 days on skins in open fermenters @ 29 °C. The cap was punched down manually every 2 hours.
MATURATION: 24 months in 225L French Nevers oak – 100% new barrels.
TASTING NOTES: Complex, layered and intense aromas of cassis, plums, spiced oak and cigar box on the nose. The palate is rich and supple, with seamless fruit / oak
integration, delicate tannins and a fine seam of acidity. Layers and layers of plush fruit explodes in the mouth with concentrated flavours of tomato cocktail, black and red fruits, and stewed meat. A wine of immense purity, depth and freshness that characterises the stellar 2017 vintage. A subtle note of mint on the finish completes a wine filled with detail.
FOOD PAIRING: A great accompaniment to meat casseroles, steak, roasts and a selection of well-matured cheeses.
AGEING POTENTIAL: If stored correctly, this wine will mature gracefully for 20 – 25 years.
CHEMICAL ANALYSES: ALCOHOL FREESO2 TOTALSO2 PH T/A R/S V/A
14.00% 24 85 3.46 6.1 2.7 0.55
Wine Safari Score: 98/100 Greg Sherwood MW
The vintage yielded a moderately low 4.5 tons per hectare or 2,750 litres per hectare, and was aged 24 months in new 225 litre French oak Nevers barrels. In my 2015 preamble, I stated that the perfect Paul Sauer blend seeks the comfort of the perfect balance between power and concentration, structure and freshness.
This 2017 is undoubtedly elegance and seamless finesse personified. Possessing a deep garnet-purple colour, the aromatics are initially slightly restrained, unfurling cautiously to reveal a fabulous cornucopia of red and black summer berry fruits, black cherries, tart blue berries supported by complexing notes of crushed gravel and a vampish graphite vein. Like any truly great wine, every time you revisit your glass, yet more intricate notes assault the senses. Violets and lilac perfume, cherries immersed in black chocolate, blood and iron, freshly tilled earth and the most seductive kiss of promise from the premium French oak vanillins.
The palate is exquisitely framed by fine talcum-like tannins and an invigorating acid freshness that resonates across the tongue. Once again the joyful poise and elegance of the weightless 2017 concentration and intensity confounds the senses, unfurling layer upon layer of black cherry kirsch liquor, crème de cassis and a tart, saline sea breeze freshness on the long exhilarating finish. For a wine like this, Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux is and always will be the road map region by which winemakers navigate their path to greatness.
This 2017 Paul Sauer has all the subtlety and finesse, elegance and seamless balance to rival the greatest Bordeaux blends of France, while retaining its own unique South African signature imprint. Drink this wine on release to banish your curiosity but then cellar some of the rest for up to 30+ years. Undoubtedly another must have icon for collectors and drinkers alike.