For this terroir project, Chris Keet jnr selects sites where 'the weather and landscapes are severe, the views are grand, and the spirit of nature is intense'. His chosen variety is trendy but still-niche cabernet franc, which 'responds very well to being farmed hard, and manifests small differences in viticultural actions quite clearly in a resultant wine'. Chris is the nephew of wine/vine eminence Chris Keet (Keet Wines), and viticulturist at Gabriëlskloof, where he makes his solo wines 'as gently as possible', avoiding new oak. Debut sites in mostly Elgin and Paarl will be joined by Wellington, Hemel-en-Aarde and Bot River in future releases.
These cab francs similarly handled: natural ferment, large portion wholebunch, ±30-day maceration & gentle extraction, 14 months older oak, unfiltered. This 2019, from Elgin, Paarl & Stellenbosch, more approachable in youth & less intense than siblings yet still refined & satisfyingly fruit-filled, with house’s trademark dryness & fine tannins. 9% cinsaut.
From fertile ferricrete soil in Elgin, 2019 cab franc happy marriage of complexity & subtlety. None of variety’s leafiness (as all), just florals & blackberry/cassis fruit, well-judged oak, impressive persistence. 70% wholebunch, others 50%.
Fragrant 2019 cab franc from Paarl bushvines on weathered sandstone & decomposed granite has sunny ‘glow’ to its dark cherry & red fruit, more viscosity than the other wines. Commendably dry, carefully structured & serious, could improve with few years cellaring.