As a proudly South African winery dating back to 1692, the 21 Gables range pays homage to Spier’s winemaking heritage of more than 300 years. The 21 architecturally significant gables remain preserved on the estate to this day. Prominent since the latter part of the 19th century, Cabernet Sauvignon has traditionally been used in crafting some of South Africa’s most prestigious reds. Admired for its adaptability, today, it is the country’s most widely planted red grape. The 21 Gables Cabernet Sauvignon offers an elegantly wooded expression that is big, bold and magnificently flavourful.
The Cabernet Sauvignon vines are grown along the west north-westerly-facing slope of the majestic Helderberg - the southern side of Stellenbosch. Besides an expansive view of the False Bay coast, the vineyard is treated to a cooling Atlantic ocean breeze, encouraging slow ripening. While conditions can be windy at altitude, 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 key to an excellent red wine is attention to detail. Once the grapes were handpicked and destemmed in the cellar, they were individually sorted to ensure only the best coloured and sized fruit were selected. Fermentation occurred in stainless-steel fermenters for 24 days with an extended skin maceration of 15 days. The free-run wine was then barrelled down into 70% new French oak barrels for 26 months. Barrel selection was done to make the perfect blend of the original single vineyard site.
In my experience, a great wine comes from a vineyard with a great view. Grown on the last farm before the peak of the majestic Helderberg, this Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful yet elegant. Think terrific fruit, a full body and ripe, well-integrated tannins - it’s the whole package. The best part is that it is just beginning to open and show secondary nuances. Cellar it, and you will be rewarded - if you have the patience, that is.
Johan Jordaan, Cellar Master, Spier