This wine is structured and phenomenally fine! Le Riche is without doubt the master of modern Cape Cabernet.
Le Riche is a family run estate founded by Etienne Le Riche in 1996. Situated close to the historic town of Stellenbosch, the winery is perched on the slopes of the Heldeberg Mountain and surrounded by the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountain range. Le Riche are known as Cabernet Masters – selecting grapes from the best possible Stellenbosch terroirs to craft top quality Cabernets with superb cellaring potential. Their wines are elegant and classy with fine grained tannins and subtle oak integration. Although not aiming to be Bordeaux replicas, they do have much in common with the balance and poise sometimes found in top Margaux. Tim Atkins Cape Classification currently ranks this estate as 2nd Growth level. Production is 8000×6 cases a year, with the Reserve range consisting of only 1000 cases. With most of their wines sold domestically, these wines are rare but worth sourcing.
“Quality, Elegance & Consistency”
Le Riche – the Cabernet specialists of Stellenbosch, a family run affair that produce top notch, quality wines to lay down, treasure and devour in years to come.
The origin of this wine is from three areas; Stellenbosch, Firgrove and Jonkershoek. On the valley floor soils are alluvial with gravel and sand on a rocky bed. Vineyards are planted in double rows raised to increase the depth of the soil. The vineyards are trained on a hedge system and pruned on a cordon with short spurs. Yield for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc is average 10 ton per ha and Cabernet is 6 t/ha. The Merlot vineyard was planted in 1990 and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1993. There is a small proportion of Petit Verdot added to the blend.
The origin of this wine is from all over Stellenbosch; Cabernet Sauvignon from Firgrove and Raithby, Merlot from Jonkershoek, Petit Verdot from Bottelary Ferrocreate, Cabernet Franc from Firgrove granite and Malbec from rocky granite soils in the Blaauwklippen valley. Made to display the traditional inter-varietal blending ability of Cabernet, this wine is made to express its fruit component. The wines are fermented separately until dry in traditional open concrete tanks and oak barrels with regular manual plunging. Secondary fermentation proceeds in tanks after which the wines are moved to French oak barrels. Blended after a year of ageing and matured for a further 10 months in barrels and oak casks i.e. a total of 20 months maturation in French oak. No fining. This wine is predominantly Cabernet (36%) with Merlot (33%), Cabernet Franc (12%), Petit Verdot(11%) and the remaining portion Malbec (8%).
What does it go with?
Red meat basically! Ideally paired with a meaty pasta dish, a rich stew or a juicy steak.