Book XVII 2017
Stellenbosch, De Toren, 750 ml
Book XVII captivates us with its full, wide-ranging bouquet of dried figs, crème de cassis, plums, delicate cardamom, vanilla and aniseed spice, complemented by floral components of magnolia and lilac. Full-bodied, balanced with a finely interwoven fruit and tannin structure. Precise, but at the same time, silky and elegant. A grand wine with an irresistible charm. For optimal enjoyment, we recommend decanting this wine.
|Origin:||South Africa / Coastal Region / Stellenbosch|
|Grape variety:||Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc|
|Serving temperature:||15 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Saddle of lamb fillet with herb jus, Bistecca fiorentina, T-Bone steak, Wild specialities|
De Toren is one of the first wineries in South Africa to producing classic Bordeaux-style wines. Since its foundation, the De Toren vision has been and remains the reinterpretation of the Bordeaux concept and to create unique South African wines from the five grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. De Toren is one of the first wineries in South Africa to producing classic Bordeaux-style wines. Since its foundation, the De Toren vision has been and remains the reinterpretation of the Bordeaux concept and to create unique South African wines from the five grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
This acclaimed winery is located at the highest point of the Polkadraai Road in the Polkadraai Hills, boasting a view over False Bay and onward to the Atlantic Ocean.
New Home, New Fortune
The Malbec once belonged to the classic assortment of varieties from Bordeaux. But it was demanding to cultivate, and in the changeable climate of the Bordelais it often became green and herbaceous, so winemakers replaced it with Merlot in the middle of the 20th century. Luckily, the Malbec found a new home in Argentina. In 1868, a Frenchman brought the first stocks along to the land of the Andes. Today, the Malbec is the most-planted variety there. Especially in Mendoza, it shows what it can do: it yields very dark, well-structured wines with aromas of black fruit, violets and game. They just call out for an Argentinean steak! The Malbec has its origins in Cahors, in southwestern France. There, it is kept today under the name Cot. Due to their earthy tannins, in the middle ages the growths from this area were also called "the black wines of Cahors".
The backbone of Bordeaux
The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the Bordeaux its backbone, yielding deep violet wines with powerful tannins and endless ripening potential. It is the top dog in Médoc, and is placed in all five premier crus of Bordelais. When young, it often appears strict and unapproachable, but with advancing years, its tannins round off. It is wonderfully velvety, and yet always maintains its freshness. Typical flavours include cassis, graphite and cedar. Wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is found, Merlot is not far away. It complements the robust structure of Cabernet with softness, fruit and richness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-exported vine in the world. It delivers persuasive qualities in Italy as an ingredient of the Super Tuscan, or as the flagship variety from California. There, it is lovingly titled “Cab Sauv”. Meat fans should be aware that it fantastically accompanies a grilled entrecôte. The family tree of Cabernet Sauvignon is surprising: its parents are Cabernet Franc and the white Sauvignon blanc.
Forefather of the Bordeaux varieties
The Cabernet Franc is one of the oldest varieties of Bordelais and a parent of three other red grapes in the Bordeaux assortment: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. It is distinguished by its complex, flavourful bouquet of raspberry, graphite, violet, liquorice and white pepper. In addition, it presents round, crisp tannins which turn out less strongly than those of Cabernet Sauvignon. While the Cabernet Franc always appears as part of a blend in Bordeaux, it is pressed alone on the Loire. The most renowned appellations are Chinon and Bourgueil. Incidentally, the Cabernet originates not in Bordeaux but in the Spanish Basque Country. Cabernet owes its name to the Latin “carbon”, meaning black.