Vergelegen Cabernet Franc Merlot 1998

The International Wine & Spirit Competition 2002 - Silver
The South African Trophy Wine Show 2002 - Bronze

This classic wine reveals an intense and opulent bouquet. The rich layered mulberries, cinnamon and spice envelope the taste buds. The reward is in the keeping as it matures to enhance its pedigree.

variety : Cabernet Franc [ 63% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon ]
winery : Vergelegen Wines
winemaker : Andre van Rensberg
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 14.0 % vol  rs : 2.3 g/l  pH : 3.42  ta : 5.8 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry   wooded
pack : Bottle  

The International Wine & Spirit Competition 2002 - Silver
The South African Trophy Wine Show 2002 - Bronze

ageing : Although the wine can be enjoyed now it will be at its best in 3 – 6 years.

in the vineyard : The grapes were all selected from Vergelegens Rondekop and Saddle vineyards. The vineyards are all dry land farmed with north to north-west slopes. The average yields were very low because of severe wind damage 1-2 tons per hectare.

Winemaker André Van Rensburg has always considered the wines of Chateau Cheval Blanc, a Cru Hors Classe in St. Emilion, Bordeaux, to be among the great wines of the world. He has also had the pleasure of sharing both his winemaking philosophy, and Vergelegen wines, with the President of Cheval Blanc, Pierre Lurton. They hold similar views, and Pierre Lurton sums up the philosophy behind making wine at Cheval Blanc as follows. “Cheval-Blanc does not follow any trends, and obeys no gurus. Its only goal is to be in harmony with its soil, and in tune with itself. The winemaker must work towards the fullest expression of the grapes, which are a direct reflection of the soil.”

The vineyards at Cheval Blanc are planted to Cabernet Franc (57%), Merlot (41%) and tiny amounts of Malbec (1%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (1%).

For this reason, when André decided to produce a wine that would truly emphasise the potential of the Vergelegen terroir he chose Cabernet Franc as the dominant varietal in the wine that he used to call his Show Reserve.

Only 250 cases of the Cabernet Franc · Merlot (Show Reserve) were made from the 1998 vintage and for those who manage to get a bottle or two, it will be a rare treat.

The grapes were selected from the Kopland and Rondekop vineyards at Vergelegen. These vineyards are all north or northwest facing and were planted on Hutton and Clovelly soils. The average yield in 1998 was between 5 – 5.5 tons per hectare.

in the cellar : After a standard crushing and de-stemming the wine was fermented in a combination of open and closed tanks with regular pump overs every 3 – 4 hours. The fermentation lasted for 5 days at a temperature of 28º-30ºC. Thereafter the wine was matured in new French Oak for 17 month and bottled after receiving an egg white fining. The blend is Cabernet Franc (63%), Merlot (23%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (14%).

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Cabernet Franc