Durbanville Wine Valley produces a new icon

Posted on 15 December 2021

Just 1 200 barrels have been produced of the sublime The Master’s Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Durbanville Wine Valley – and that’s all there will ever be as the vines have been pulled up.

Masters Vineyards Durbanville Wine Valley

Photo: Gustav Klotz Photography

The wine was launched at the Klein Roosboom Boutique Winery, a welcoming stop on the Durbanville Wine Valley route, on a sunny day at the end of November.

It’s the same region that produced the internationally celebrated 1966 GS Cabernet Sauvignon – in 2015, UK authority Jancis Robinson awarded it a perfect score of 20/20.

More recently, UK Master of Wine Tim Atkin described The Master’s Vineyards 2016 as ‘a superb wine, with cassis and tobacco notes, subtle oak and pithy, refreshing acidity’. He awarded it 94 points.

A legend

The Master’s Vineyards is somewhat of a legend already: it is an unusual collaborative effort between Morgenster Farm, Durbanville Hills and Diemersdal. It matured for 24 months in French oak barrels and was bottled in 2018, in the similar Claret-style as used in 1966, spending three years in the bottle to add texture.

The fruit came from Morgenster’s south-facing slopes and Red Hutton soils. Although conditions here are perfect for the production of good wines, tough economics resulted in the uprooting of vines and a change of crop, explained Durbanville Wine Valley manager Natasha de Villiers.

Diemersdal and Durbanville Hills joined forces to make the wine, a masterful blend of two wineries, each with their own distinct presence.

Speaking about his first taste of The Master’s Vineyards, Cape Wine Master Bennie Howard said: ‘The fruit was just amazing. The cassis was the overwhelming fruit flavour. The second part of the wine was balance. When it touched my tongue, I thought: “The wine is only five years old and it has this amazing balance between fruit and tannin!”’

After balance, he said, came the elegance and smoothness on the palate, backed up by a ‘beautiful, rich and fantastic aftertaste that keeps on lingering’.

The final entry on the palate and the final experience in the mouth is structure and complexity.

Howard said it had the suppleness of a youthful wine with a promise that hopefully in 50 years’ time people would raise a glass and say: ‘Wow ,this is what SA can produce.’

Gustav Klotz Photography

Cabernet Sauvignon icon

In essence, a new icon wine has come out of Durbanville. It has the potential to mature for more than 15 years – or drink it today with steak, game, stews or mature cheese, where it will hold its own.

The 2016 Durbanville Wine Valley The Master’s Vineyard’s Cabernet Sauvignon is sold by three-bottle case for R950 a case from selected wineries of the Durbanville Wine Valley and online at winefly.co.za

The Durbanville Wine Valley is only about 20 minutes from the Cape Town CBD. It is home to some of South Africa’s most well-known wineries, such as Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, Canto, D’Aria, Diemersdal, De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Loch Lynne, Maastricht, Meerendal, Nitida, Groot Phesantekraal and Signal Gun.

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