Cabernet Franc – a black grape variety mostly planted to be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to make the classic Bordeaux blend. In Hermanus Whalehaven uses Cabernet Franc to produce a single varietal wine. And they do it well. So well that the 2010 vintage won winemaker Reino Thiart a place in the inaugural Top Six Cabernet Franc Challenge held earlier this year. A recent tasting of 4 vintages of Cabernet Franc showed this wine with its full flavour spectrum. Reino has applied a bit of American oak to add a slight sweetness on the front palate. Only 5% of the 35% oak used is American. This gives vanilla touches to the wine that goes through the standard (for red wine) malolactic fermentation creating a rounder, fuller mouth-feel.
All the fruit for this wine comes from the Bottega family’s Somerset West farm, Da Capo Vineyards, where a special venue and restaurant have recently been completed. Whether you visit the farm in Somerset West or the winery in Hermanus make sure to taste a bit of Cabernet Franc.
Fast Fact: Whalehaven is the 3rd oldest winery on the Hermanus Wine Route. Third only to Hamilton Russell Vineyards and Bouchard Finlayson.