A fitting finale for this year’s columns

Matthew Jukes picks a perfect South African red with which to round off the year.

876-Wine-2-634

2013 Reyneke, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa (£57.99, reduced to £52.19 each for orders over six bottles, Handford Wines, 020-7589 6113, Handford.net).

I had a eureka moment back in September while I was working my way around the annual South African wine tasting and it has been at the forefront of my mind ever since. The stock for my tip has just made it to the UK, so you can, for the first time, taste the wine that will send this estate into orbit.

Johan Reyneke is a committed biodynamic farmer and there are few properties whose wines taste so securely rooted to their origins. Reyneke's winemaker is a peculiarly talented man. Rudiger Gretschel has cast a phenomenal spell on the Reyneke cellar; in fact, six years ago, on this very page, I alerted you to their Reserve White, noting they were on the brink of superstardom. This is their first great red.

The maiden vintage of Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly stellar achievement. Fermented in concrete tanks and aged in new French barriques for 22 months, this wine is bloody, sooty, dark, exceptionally beautiful and also mesmerisingly brooding. The flavour is vividly imprinted in my memory.

I remember hugging Rudiger and then grinning like a goon for minutes while shaking my head with complete disbelief. It is a 20/20 the first perfect score I have ever given to a South African red. It is a fitting finale for this year's wine columns.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).

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