South African Cabernet Sauvignon: 40 wines to buy
Great things are being achieved in the Cape with this most famous of Bordeaux varieties, with production techniques and styles evolving fast. Here, Christian Eedes recommends the 40 wines he scored highest when blind-tasting a line-up of 106 wines recently.
Cabernet Sauvignon is South Africa’s most widely planted red grape and third most-planted variety overall – 10,087ha were in the ground by the end of 2019, equivalent to 11% of the national vineyard. It has been around since the late part of the 19th century and traditionally made South Africa’s most prestigious reds. That said, one of the reasons it is so ubiquitous is because of how adaptable it is, retaining a recognisable character even when planted in less suitable locations.
It should also be noted that South Africa’s Cabernet Sauvignon plantings have decreased by 19.1% between 2009 and 2019; of the nation’s top 10 varieties, only Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage are more widely distributed than they were a decade ago.