Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Restless River Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignontext

Restless River Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaRestless River is a small, 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 a 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 the oldest plantings of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in the valley, dating back to 1999, and they are still one of the only ones 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 an extended maceration followed by basket pressing. This then entered French barriques (25% new), which rested undisturbed for 23 months. It was then racked from barrel to stainless for a short tightening stint before bottling and two more years' rest before release. Iron-laced black cherry and plum lead the structural and savoury palate, filled with tobacco, anise, crushed dark florals, and graphite. Cedar-scented tannins are appropriately firm, framing this serious cab. The freshness of the site and soils quickly lifts the full 14.5% through a lingering dusty stone finish. Impressive. 7765 bottles.Tasted: 01 March 2023Tasted by: Treve RingPrices:
Producer: Restless RiverDistributors: Le Sommelier Inc.
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon