Haut Espoir 'Gentle Giant', Franschhoek, South Africa 2012

Haut Espoir Gentle Giant.jpg
Haut Espoir Gentle Giant.jpg

Haut Espoir 'Gentle Giant', Franschhoek, South Africa 2012

14.95

It’s rare to find a wine at this price that has spent nearly 4 years maturing in oak barrels, as this has, if for no other reason than the winery won’t have earned a single penny from it during all that time. It’s the sort of lengthy wallow that would earn a wine ‘Gran Reserva’ status in Rioja or ‘Riserva’ status in Montalcino, but this is just a humble Bordeaux(ish) blend from Franschhoek.

It’s well-named, because it would have been a big wine when it went into the oak, but the slow exposure to oxygen has mollified it and it’s now a great big softy. Aromas and matching flavours of warm plum skins, cherries, tomato leaf, sweet tobacco and woodsmoke give the wine a soft, autumnal feel, while the tannins are supple and silky, so it has a gentle fruitfulness. Drink with char-grilled meats. 14.5% alc. Drink now-2023.

Press review:

The Wine Mag: “53% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 11% Shiraz. Red and black fruit, some herbal character plus vanilla and spice. Well-structured with concentrated fruit and bright acidity. Rich but still quite subtle and nuanced.” 90 points

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