We focus today on the magnificent Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, home to some of the country’s finest Cabernets and Red Blends. Leading the pack is the newly released, blockbuster 2013 Guardian Peak Lapa Cabernet – big and bold, typical Californian style, with a Platter 5 Star to boot! Everything about the wine screams opulence and luxury, down to the lavishly heavy bottle! Another wine that caught our taster’s attention is the newly released Ernie Els Big Easy Cabernet, an absolute knockout at the price. Three stunning Eikendal wines were simply too good not to mention, all three set to increase significantly (up to 20%) in price in April. The perennially awarded Cabernet shows beautiful restraint and balance with the 2013 vintage, the Charisma blends Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese and the Cab Merlot a wine that you buy by the caseloads after tasting it.
The greater Helderberg (“clear mountain”) is surrounded by the jagged peaks of the spectacular mountain ranges so humbling in their sheer stature. The area covers Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Strand, Sir Lowry’s Pass and Gordons Bay and is renowned for the close proximity to the cooling Atlantic Ocean breezes coupled with the different altitudes provided by the mentioned mountains – and the positive effects this has on ripening periods.
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Cabernet and Cabernet-led blends are some of the standout bottlings, but experimentation and better understanding of the diverse terroir has brought about many unique offerings, like the Seriously Cool Cinsaut from Waterkloof Estate.