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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.

The winemaking is quite rudimentary as the hard work was really done in the vineyard. The grapes were hand-harvested half the lot was destemmed with the berries kept intact with the remaining half left whole-bunch. The wines fermented with ambient yeasts 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 without fining or filtration and only a light sulfur addition.


  • Grapes: 100% Cabernet Franc
  • Vineyard: Oudeberg Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 17-years-old
  • Soil Type: Fine granitic sand intermixed with marl
  • Viticulture: Practicing biodynamic
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless-steel (50% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 14 days
  • Aging: 11 months in seasoned 500L French tonneau
  • Alcohol: 13.9%
  • pH: 3.54
  • Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
  • Total SO2: 62 ppm
  • Total Production: 125 cases
  • UPC: 781718145626

Tasting Note

Dried thyme, violets, blackberries and glazed cherries on the nose. Influence of the whole-cluster ferment is evident with poppy, light, fruit flavors with the feint hint of rosemary. The palate is nicely juxtaposed with chalky and grippy tannins. This wine has some serious stuffing and should age gracefully.

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