Alto, Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 2009South Africa, Stellenbosch
Heritage and tradition, married with evolution and innovation. These are the hallmarks of Alto Wine Estate in the heart of the world-famous Stellenbosch winelands. Stretched out along the steep northern slopes of the Helderberg, for close to a century Alto has built a reputation as one of the most respected red wine producers in South Africa.
The impressive Alto Cabernet Sauvignon, blends Old World elegance with the full-bodied, fruit-driven character typical of wines from the Golden Triangle. Named for its superior terroir, the Golden Triangle lies at the heart of Stellenbosch’s reputation for producing South Africa’s defining Cabernet Sauvignons. Harvested by hand and matured in French oak for 18 months, the Alto Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of how this region is well deserving of its reputation as the ‘Kingdom of Cabernet’.
'Fresh and juicy promise on the nose leads to cassis, earthy and savoury notes. Herbal lift adds freshness. But pure, lacy, deep and alluring. Beautiful and gravelly to end.' – Roland Peens (tasted December 2018), Wine Cellar, 93.6/100
This wine is made from grapes of north-facing dryland vines, between 9 and 20 years old, that grow in decomposed granite soils and clay subsoil situated at altitudes of 135m and 475m above sea level respectively. The vines on the higher slopes are fanned by the cooling maritime breezes from nearby False Bay. A five-wire fence was used to trellis the vines, which yielded a low 4 to 5 tons per hectare.
The grapes were harvested by hand at the end of March at between 24° and 25° Balling and yielded a low 4 to 5 tons per hectare. After destalking and crushing, the mash was fermented in stainless steel tanks at between 25° and 27° C, using the select NT112 yeast culture. The juice was separated from the skins after 10 days. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked into first, second-and third-fill French-oak barrels and matured for 18 months.
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator