La Bri Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Wine producers and especially their winemaking teams work exceptionally hard throughout each vintage to produce the finest wine possible for their consumers. Recognition for their efforts comes in several forms, perhaps the most rewarding is when all the wine they make is sold on before releasing their next vintage! However, should they wish, they can seek extra exposure by entering their wines into challenging wine competitions both locally and internationally.

Receiving an award in any one of these competitions gives the wine additional exposure via the media and wine shows, which ultimately leads to increased sales and awareness for the producer.

The consumer also benefits as the award sticker on the bottle gives the wine additional credibility making the purchase off the shelf a lot easier. In most cases these wine competitions are judged by a competent and knowledgeable group of wine judges who assess each entry with regimental accuracy.

South Africa offers our producers various competitions for them to choose from, some bigger than others but all important none-the-less. Well-known wine writer and formidable wine taster Christian Eedes has introduced two cultivar-specific competitions, one concentrating on Chardonnay and the other on Cabernet Sauvignon.

The latter, The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2013, supported by Sanlam Private Investments, is in its second year and gaining momentum as wineries see huge value in single-cultivar challenges.

This year the 60 wines selected were tasted and judged by a panel that was led by Christian and included respected tasters Roland Peens and James Pietersen. The judges felt the 2013 line-up represented an extremely high level of technique among South African winemakers.

Christian says Cabernet is renowned for its capacity to age, thanks in large part to its high level of tannins, and yet this is increasingly a quality which consumers do not desire.

“As a consequence, winemakers seem to be going to great lengths to emphasise fruit and the resulting wines are tending to be ever riper, sweeter and more alcoholic. The best examples display fruit concentration but retain shape and form,” he explains.

The top 10 wines for The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2013, were revealed last week and wines were awarded a star rating. Two wines achieved the prestigious Five Star status, with the one being the La Bri 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Last year I was introduced to the superb Merlot from this estate made by talented winemaker Irene Waller, so I was delighted to see her Cabernet awarded the highest accolade out of 60 of the Capes finest.

La Bri is an enchanting and beautiful estate on the outskirts of Franschhoek and boasts 15.5 hectares under vine. Each wine represents a Cape flower and the Cabernet displays the White Watsonia.

The wine shows a dark, rich, velvety colour with earthy aromas and hints of dark cherry. The palate has elegant balance with well-integrated tannins and a juicy, silky finish. It is certainly deserved of recognition and can be enjoyed now, but will continue to please for a further five years.

Expect to pay: R98.50

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