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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Restless River Main Road & Dignitytext
94POINTS
17½/20

Restless River Main Road & Dignity 2017

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaRestless River is a small, but mighty, family-owned winery in the cool Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Hundreds of years ago, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley was known as Attacquas Kloof. In 1760 the elder, Wessel Wessels arrived with his family and set up home. Some historians say it was Wessel who called the valley 'Hemel-en-Aarde'. What is known for sure is that old man Wessels was the first European of settler descent to live in and farm the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Fast forward a few hundred years, when husband and wife Craig and Anne Wessels started planting part of the farm in 2004, launching the Restless River label in 2012 to continual critical acclaim. They have truly made a name for themselves, and the cool climate, higher altitude Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, with world-class wines like this. They have the oldest plantings of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in the valley, dating back to 1999, and still one of the only working with cab sauv in this cool region. Main Road and Dignity are two single vineyards, with slopes of gravel and koffeklip soils over decomposed granite clays. This was destemmed and native fermented in small open top oak vats, with a lengthy maceration followed by basket pressing. This then went into French barriques (20% new) where it rested undisturbed for 21 months. It was then racked from barrel to stainless for a short tightening stint prior to bottling, and 2 more years' rest prior to release. Iron-laced black cherry, wild blackberry, blackcurrant, anise, tobacco, graphite race through this medium+ red, structured with firm, long tannins, and effortlessly lifted with a stony, saline rise, carrying this to a lengthy salted liquorice and forest bark finish. Powerful, yet energetic and finessed, this is a striking cab that can compete with the world's best. 7973 bottles made.Tasted: 09 August 2021Tasted by: Treve RingProducer: Restless RiverDistributors: Le Sommelier Inc.
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon