94 Point Cabernet Sauvignon

April 05, 2021 2 min read

South African Cabernet made with a Nod to the Medoc!


South Africa may not be the first place you think of when searching for Cabernet Sauvignon, but over the past few years, the Stellenbosch region in South Africa has called itself the, "Kingdom of Cabernet.” Interestingly, there is more Cabernet planted in South Africa than any other varietal. The climate and soils are perfect for growing Cabernet and many high-scoring wines have been produced from here already. After enjoying a glass of David Finlayson’s Cabernet Sauvignon, I knew we had a winner!



We have sold the wines of David Finlayson for many years and many of his wines can be found in our South African collection. David trained at a small vineyard in Bordeaux you might have heard of, Chateau Margaux, where 100-point Cabernet-based wines are made almost every other vintage. Today's featured wine is made in a style more representative of Left Bank Bordeaux than Napa Valley, but Finlayson says it is distinctively Stellenbosch. Here there are various soil types, all at higher altitudes and close to the ocean. This is important because the region has a warm climate, but the cool ocean breezes help keep the grapes cool at night, retaining some acidity. The result is a red wine with the structure of a Bordeaux with the rich fruit of a new world Cabernet.

The grapes were all hand-picked and then aged in mostly one year old oak barrels for 14 months. The wine is made mostly from Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) with small amounts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This is a very pure expression of Cabernet with typical cassis and blackberry flavors wrapped around a core of minerals, oak with a hint of eucalyptus to finish. There are firm but silky tannins. I know this wine will drink well for another five years but can last ten if you misplace a bottle in your cellar.

This is a fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon grown in an up-and-coming location. If this were from a better-known region like Napa Valley or Saint Estephe, it would cost two to three times the price! Grab a case while it lasts and get to know Stellenbosch Cabs while they are still a killer value.


David Finlayson Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2018 750mL

94 Points - Decanter 

“David Finlayson’s father Walter helped develop such well-known properties as Blaauwklippen, Glen Carlou and Hartenberg, while uncle Peter played a leading role in the establishment of Bouchard Finlayson. This wine consists of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, grapes sourced from various vineyards around Stellenbosch. The nose shows red and black fruit, some floral perfume and dried herbs, while the palate is medium-bodied with nice drinkability. Drinking Window 2020 – 2026.” – Christan Eedes (May 2020)


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