Anthonij Rupert Optima
Anthonij Rupert Optima
L’Ormarins found itself in Rupert hands in 1968, already having made the first champion South African brandy and white wine. In 1984, Anthonij took over from his father Anton, and began restorations and winery upgrades and in 1989 won every major local wine competition. In 2003 Johann took the helm after the death of his brother Anthonij in a car crash and changed the estate’s name from L’Ormarins to Anthonij Rupert, in honour of his brother’s memory. This sparked the beginning of massive investment to modernise and streamline the winery, improve the cellar and finally recruit renowned oenologist Michel Rolland. This melting pot of innovation, improvements and expertise resulted in numerous international accolades, awards and high scores. Johann’s pursuit of excellence and quality had paid off. The grapes for Optima were grown in L’Ormarins estate in Franschhoek and Rooderlust Farm in Darling. Specific sites with their unique soil and climatic conditions were identified to provide ideal grape selection for the final blend and reflect the drive towards terroir driven wines. The decomposed granite, alluvial sands, clay and “Greywacke” sandstone (a sedimentary rock created by submarine avalanches or rapidly moving underwater currents laden with sediment) abounding in Franschhoek plus dramatic differences in rainfall offer many vineyards options. Add into the mix the Groot Drakenstein and Franschhoek mountains, the cooling Benguela current from the south pole and the warmer Mozambique current flowing from the Indian ocean and you have ideal conditions to create wines of unique character and complexity. And that is what Anthonij Rupert are doing. Optima is their flagship Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The grapes are hand-picked, hand-sorted, vinified and aged separately before blending and further ageing in barrel and tank prior to bottling and a final bottle maturation of 24 months pre release. Quite a breathless process. Nevertheless the finished product is more than worthy of the efforts put in. Polished, rich and silky with ripe plums and forest fruits wrapped in sweet tobacco, cedar, cocoa and spice. Its fruity acidity keeps it fresh and lively with a balanced, long finish and a nod to balsamicky blueberries. Some wine critics suggest Christmas pudding, so if that’s your thing, you know what to do.
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape and Franschhoek
Appellation: Coastal Region
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot
Farming: Organic Practices and Sustainable
Is it Vegan? YesView full details
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