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Thistle & Weed



Cabernet Franc   |   Stellenbosch - South Africa


The perennially opportunistic Knapsêkerel (Blackjack) gambles by spreading its seeds through wind, water, man and beast. The Blackjack is generally thought of as a weed but in many communities around the world it is used as a source of food and for medicinal purposes. This biodynamically farmed Cabernet Franc from the Oudeberg Vineyard in the Polkadraai area of Stellenbosch is littered with these beautiful weeds. Only seven rows are used for this small batch wine. Fun fact: Knapsekêrel also means “handsome man” in Afrikaans.

The winemaking is quite rudimentary as the hard work was really done in the vineyard. The grapes were hand-harvested 70% of the lot was destemmed with the berries kept intact and the remaining 30% was left whole-bunch. The wines fermented with mostly ambient yeasts (some inoculation where necessary) and frequent punchdowns by hand were employed to get a gentle extraction. After two weeks the wine was dry and gently basket pressed, with only free run juice and the first light pressing being used, to old French tonneau. Malolactic fermentation carried out naturally in barrel and after 11 months the wine was racked to tank and bottled with a sheet filtration and sulfur dosage at bottling. No fining.


  • Grapes: 100% Cabernet Franc
  • Vineyard: Oudeberg Vineyard (Polkadraai Hills)
  • Vine Age: 21-years-old
  • Soil Type: Fine granitic sand intermixed with marl
  • Viticulture: Practicing biodynamic
  • Fermentation: Mostly native – one-ton open-top stainless-steel fermenters (30% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 10 days
  • Aging: 11 months in seasoned 500L French tonneau
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • pH: 3.55
  • Total Acidity: 5.5 g/L
  • Total SO2: 110 ppm
  • Total Production: 133 cases
  • UPC: 781718145626

Tasting Note

Fine perfume of rose and fresh herbs on the nose. The palate opens with red cherry and red currant notes set on a backdrop of chalky tannins. Gently spicy finish.

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