Rupert & Rothschild Classique 1998

A Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. Matured in small barrels of new French oak. Dense, blackish colour with ruby hues and flavours of ripe, black plum with cherry tobacco in elegant cedarwood. Rich nuances of red cherries, spicy tobacco and cinnamon on the palate with a long and lingering finish.


variety : Cabernet Sauvignon | Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
winemaker : Schalk-Willem Joubert
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 13.20 % vol  pH : 3.68  ta : 5.75 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  body : Full  taste : Fragrant   wooded
pack : Bottle  

ageing : Due to the low yield and gentle winemaking process, the Classique will improve with further bottle maturation.

about the harvest: The noble varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot form the basis of the 1998 Classique. The Merlot, harvested from the Simonberg and Groot Drakenstein slopes was hand-picked at optimum ripeness in 400 kilogram bins. The Merlot was harvested from 17 to 26 February and the Cabernet Sauvignon from 26 February to 20 March 1998. The slow-ripening grapes (cooled by the South-Eastern wine) was also hand-picked. At Rupert & Rothschild picking is done in stages to ensure ripe, healthy fruit. The grapes are tasted prior to harvesting rather than harvested on analysis thus allowing the fruit to express itself in the wine.

in the cellar : Within one hour of picking the grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed. Fermentation took place in 10 ton stainless steel tanks. The Cabernet Sauvignon underwent natural fermentation and was left on the skins for a further two weeks before being drained and pressed. One-third of the Merlot underwent natural fermentation. The remainder was innoculated with a selected yeast strain. Average skin contact for the Merlot was 32 days.

The 1998 vintage allowed the use of the press juice together with the free run juice. Malolactic fermentation occurred in the barrel. Early blending of the different components ensured better integration and harmony in the wine.

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