The backbone of the range, it’s a phenomenal expression of Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon when it’s allowed a maritime influence, and it is this that sets it apart and marks it as truly Bordelaise. With carefully selected fruit from the cool gravelly slopes facing False Bay to the rich red granitic soils around Stellenbosch, the wine gains its complexity by expertly blending fruit from 4 specifically diverse terroirs. Ripe cherries and fresh plums are balanced on the nose by vanilla and cedar spice. The palate has lush layers of fruit and spice plus smooth velvety tannins with a firm structure and succulent finish.
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 Atkin’s 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.
Fruit is sourced from a variety of sites ranging from the sandy gravel soils of the Firgrove and Raithby ward to the decomposed granite soils of the Jonkershoek and Bottelary ward. In essence a blend of Stellenbosch Cabernets showing the variety of terroirs to be found, all harvested by hand at optimal ripeness.
Five days fermentation in open concrete tanks with temperature control and regular manual plunging and pump-overs. The malolactic fermentation was carried out in lined concrete tanks followed by 24 months barrel maturation in French oak, 30% new.
Try with slow-cooked lamb shank or a rich and savoury beef casserole.
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