The King! A variety Mick and Jeanine never thought they would entertain making until a lovely little site on the Karibib Vineyard was made apparent. The vineyard sits at 1,000 feet in elevation in the western part of Stellenbosch. The southeasterly wind coming off of False Bay becomes a bit of an air conditioner helping to retain lovely acidity and prolong the growing season. While ripening in Stellenbosch was on average about 10-14 days later in 2021 than in 2020, and the ripening period was moderate with only 8 hours above 35ºC compared to the 2020’s 41 hours above 35ºC, the wine chemistry for this Craven Cab was astonishingly similar in both years. This shows the moderating effect of microclimate on this very well-chosen site.
The wine was fermented using 75% whole cluster, which is considered going against what is considered ‘standard operating procedure’ for this grape. Mick and Jeanine love the tannin structure and aromatics this can give to a wine and thought why not try it on Cab? The grapes were pressed a little earlier than complete dryness to make sure the tannins didn’t get too aggressive and the ferment finished in tank. The wine was then matured in neutral 300L barrels for 10 months before bottling. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, with nothing added during the winemaking process apart from a dash of sulfur.