EAT & DRINK
Accentuate the savoury herbaceousness of this prime Cabernet Franc with a flavourful roasted lamb rump, dauphinoise potatoes and long-stem broccoli, or pair it alongside a saffron risotto with sun-dried tomatoes.
“This vineyard was first planted in 2004, and as the crow flies, is located a mere 7km from the coast. At 320 meters above sea level, it is also an exceptionally high vineyard. For a variety like Cabernet Franc, which typically matures quite fast, this perfect confluence of aspect and a cooling Atlantic breeze means that the grapes ripen slowly with mature phenolics. The result is a beautifully balanced wine with a desirable ripe fruit profile.”
- Johan Jordaan, Spier Cellar Master
Frans Smit was Spier’s prodigious Cellar Master for 27 formative years. In honour of his remarkable influence and ongoing legacy, this wine represents the highest echelon of our winemaking craft. After passing the Cellar Master baton to his successor Johan Jordaan in 2021, Frans and Johan continue to collaborate creatively in the vineyard and cellar. Drawing on years of shared experience and skill, Frans, Johan and the Spier winemaking team spared no effort to create a wine that can rival some of the world’s best.
SOIL & TERROIR
The 18-year-old Cabernet Franc vines are grown along the west north-westerly-facing slope of the majestic Helderberg - the southern side of Stellenbosch. Besides a panoramic view of the False Bay coast, the vineyard benefits from a cooling Atlantic ocean breeze that encourages slow ripening. While conditions can be windy at an altitude of 320 meters above sea level, the decomposed granitic soil features clay in the subsoil, which aids in moisture retention and promotes even ripening. This results in small berries concentrated in flavour and tannin.
The grapes for this wine were harvested from specifically selected vineyard rows within the bigger block of the vineyard. All the fruit was hand-picked and delivered to the cellar in small lug boxes where they were kept cool at 8°C. Once the grapes were destemmed, they were individually sorted to ensure only the best coloured and sized fruit were selected. Whole berry fermentation takes place in 600l oak barrels with an extended skin maceration of 12 - 14 days. The free-run wine was then racked clear for maturation in the barrel.
The wine matured in 100% new 300l French-oak barrels for a period of 30 months on lees. Then we made our selections and started blending the best Cabernet Franc components. We used extra fine grain that is smaller than 1.5mm to allow for less oxygen uptake. This allowed the wine to mature slowly and steadily for a more accurate outcome. Ultimately, this process required patience as we wanted the wine to evolve in the barrel.
A bright, seductive ruby hue.
NOSE & PALATE
Bound by precision, this 100% Cabernet Franc exudes exotic aromatics of spearmint, blackberry and crushed pepper. The palate brings a delightfully full-bodied wine with a seamless, broad midpalate packed with fruit. Spicy oak aromas and a graphite finish. Balanced and extremely drinkable, this complex symphony of richness and freshness energizes the senses and demands another sip. Decant to unveil its many delicate and soft layers.DOWNLOAD