Restless River Cabernet Sauvignon 'Main Road and Dignity' Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2018

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  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: 2018
  • ABV: 14%
  • Origin: Hemel-en-Aarde/South Africa
  • Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon


Restless River is a rising star which has quietly achieved cult-status for its brilliant, Burgundian-style Chardonnay and ultra-elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Launched in 2012 by Craig Wessels, who, alongside his successful career in digital production, also raced motorbikes and flew helicopters around the Cape, along with his ex-model wife Anne, their farm is located in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Its home to some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay vines in the region (planted in 1998). At Restless River, things are done in an unhurried way, with great dedication and attention to detail. Almost all their production is done by hand, resulting in limited quantities of each wine, and demand far exceeding supply. Restless River is defined by its terroir, and Craig Wessels' thoughtful and careful winemaking allows it to be the star of the show.

With vines planted by proprietors Craig and Anne Wessels in 1999, Restless River has some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The valley is well renowned for its cooler climate and the Wessels believe it is fundamental that their vines reflect this distinctive, marginal environment in which they grow; passing their unique characteristics onto the grapes, and ultimately, the wine.

" Excellent” - Neal Martin, “Is this the best Cab Sauvignon in South Africa right now? Yes.” Natasha Hughes MW. Beautiful blackcurrant, red currant, graphite, a hint of tar, minerality, complex notes of wood and fruit, some tobacco leaf and cedar. What's exciting is that we have now experienced several vintages, and they all have an amazing quality, and it's something unique to this terroir. It might be half the price of some of those 'trophy' wines, but this is the genuine star of the scene.

Very much sui generis, this impressive Cabernet Sauvignon is a great wine to put into a blind tasting. Made with fruit from two single vineyards, it's youthful, stony, grippy and compact with considerable depth and intensity, fresh acidity, fine 20% new oak and inky damson and blackcurrant fruit. Drink 2024-30. 94 points. TIM ATKIN MW, SA REPORT 2021

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