This remarkable wine is one to treasure — make it the cornerstone of your own collection, or gift it to the connoisseur in your life. Named after Spier's managing director (and longstanding former Cellar Master) this wine represents the pinnacle of his passion, craft and commitment to terroir.
The 2017 Red was made with grapes handpicked on the slopes of Helderberg — arguably the best place in South Africa to grow Bordeaux varietals. Forming 50% of the blend, majestic, mysterious Cabernet Sauvignon takes centre stage, with stellar Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot providing aroma and structure in memorable supporting roles. Offering dark fruits presence and traces of cigar box with tannins that are firm but amiably rounded.
Enjoyable now, this collector’s wine will show best at 10 years after harvest, and will complement most red meat dishes — something even as simple and exquisite as flame-seared grass-fed ribeye.
TERROIR / SOIL
Decomposed granite soils
VINEYARD AND CLIMATE CONDITIONS
‘All varietals in the blend are of Helderberg origin, grown in pockets close to one another but at different altitudes and aspects. The Helderberg’s ‘golden triangle’, within whistling distance from the cool Atlantic ocean, has soils known for yielding Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot of unmatched ageing potential. This consistency of terroir shows up in the taste profile. The first vineyard is about 160m above sea level and it goes all the way up to about 280m above sea level, in the case of the Cabernet Franc. Then we went even higher, up to about 290m, to dip into a small, very special pocket of Malbec. The decomposed granite soils and clay subsoils are something special, adding to the minerality. And then there’s also the cooling sea breeze, which also allows the fruit to develop full flavour complexity.’
‘Of course, all picking, sorting and destemming is done by hand and eye. But with this wine, we doubled down on detail, doing the first sorting the old school way and then using machine sorting to check our homework. We set the machine to select berries that are perfectly ripe - no raisins, no stems, no greenness. Only the best of the bunch made it into the fermentation. Several fermentation vessels were used so one could serve to top up another, allowing us to ramp up the juice-to-skin ratio, before filling up the tank for post-fermentation maturation.’
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