Decant very early and let it breathe both in the decanter and in your glass and let the aromas and flavours expand. A big glass is good. It's not a big wine, but it's got big presence. Some vintages are bigger, but this is fine wine, with elegance, finesse and complexity, and a lot of it. Beautiful blackcurrant, red currant, graphite, a hint of tar, minerality, complex notes of wood and fruit, some tobacco leaf and cedar. What's exciting is that we have now experienced several vintages, and they all have an amazing quality, and it's something unique to this terroir.
Some of the expensive Cabernets from South Africa that that you see at the airport at £100 plus a bottle are just fighting it out as brands to become 'trophy' or 'cult' wines, to compete on price rather than quality with other famous wines from around the world, in response to some winemakers and commentators thinking South Africa needs a £100 or £150 a bottle Cabernet to be taken seriously. They might be right, but it's got to come naturally. Some of these are good, but some are the emperor's new clothes. They are designer wines, devoid of soul. The good news is that Restless River is defined by its terroir, and Craig Wessels' thoughtful and careful winemaking allows it to be the star of the show. It might be half the price of some of those 'trophy' wines, but this is the genuine star of the scene.
FROM THE PRESS
“It takes courage to grow Cabernet Sauvignon in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, but Craig Wessels' two sites, both planted in 1999 but with different soil types and exposures, consistently deliver the goods. This is lighter and more forward than the 2015 - it could almost be a Cabernet Franc - with graphite and black cherry flavours and filigree tannins.”95/100 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com (September 2019)