Frans K. Smit Red Blend 2012



The benign west- and northwest-facing slopes of the Helderberg is the place where all the vines were grown, and all within a 10km radius. Decomposed granite soils retain water well, allowing for slow ripening and heightened mineral complexity. The area bene ts from the cooling effect of the nearby Atlantic. FKS: ‘The season was also beautifully mild. So the fruit matured without any necessity to pick in a hurry, developing excellent avor concentration and velvety tannins.’


A royal berry red with ruby red on the rim. A discernable blackcurrant and dark fruit presence on the palate, with the barest traces of cigar box. You can almost taste the tannins in this blend. They’re firm and assertive, but also rounded, sweet, soft and very amiable. 


‘A monster of a wine from the tiniest vintage I’ve ever worked with. This 5-year-old gave us just 6500 bottles and has the makings of a long-distance runner ̶ with soft, rounded tannins. This is only my 2nd Merlot-based vintage since 2004. When a Merlot yield is good, it’s king; my personal default choice. I always push for Merlot when the vintage is good. 2012 was brilliant for Merlot, which sings through the layers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.’
- Frans K Smit, Cellar Master, Spier

46% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc and 5% Shiraz

We worked every inch of these vineyard blocks, putting so much time and care-taking into each vine row. Our team was constantly in attendance. Making a wine that yields this kind of character is labour intensive. After hand-picking and carefully packing the berries into small 10kg lugs, they were then sorted by hand, crushed and pumped into a mixture of 500L roller barrel and small steel tanks. Fermentation and post-fermentation took place in these barrels and tanks, where the juice remained on the lees for 3 – 6 weeks, or until Frans was 100% satisfied with the tannin levels. We then racked and
transferred the wine to small French Oak barrels for maturation to begin.

Malolactic fermentation took place in the small French oak barrels, followed by an extended period of maturation. Around 24 months after picking, I made selections from these already well-rounded blends. They were then returned to the barrel for a further 6-8 months, before the final barrel selection – the big moment when we get to pick the best of the bunch.


This blend is good with matured beef ribeye steak or game fillet like Eland. Season and barbeque on a hot fire, then cut into medallions and add a splash of olive oil. 

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