Wine of the Month: Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cape winters are synonymous with crackling log fires, hearty stews and of course, sumptuous red wine. Sanlam Private Wealth‘s Alwyn Van der Merwe favourite cultivar remains cabernet, and he recently had the opportunity to sample the 2015 vintage of a Stellenbosch producer with an esteemed pedigree: Hartenberg Estate.

Like other passion investments such as art and cars, the appreciation of wine is a highly personal experience. But as is the case with traditional investing, ‘pattern’ established over time does provide enhanced objectivity. So I think it’s safe to say that local wine producers can easily hold their own against the best shiraz wines in the world, and that reputable Stellenbosch cabernet sauvignons have carved out their own niche on the global cabernet stage.

(The one cultivar with which we’ve achieved limited success compared to the world’s best, is merlot. Having said this, however, South Africa does have a number of estates producing top-class merlots.)

Hartenberg Estate, on the slopes of Bottelary Hills outside Stellenbosch, is one of the farms to produce great red wines over the years. It would be unfair, however, to classify the estate only as a red wine producer – its chardonnay, The Eleanor, is simply too good to be ignored.

I tasted the Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 earlier this month, and it’s an exceptional vintage. When pouring this wine, one immediately becomes aware of its full intensity in the glass. Despite being three years old, the nose is still youthful, with upfront black fruit and cherry flavours – beautifully complemented by cedar or cigar box aromas. The primary fruit flavours also present themselves keenly on the palate.

This wine is so much more than the primary flavours, however. It is complex, as the natural acidity and the fine tannin structure fill the mid-palate and allow for a full, elegant and silky mouthfeel.

When I drank this wine I was grateful that cellar master Carl Schultz didn’t fall into the trap of trying to make a showy wine that is overripe and overly extracted. He’s instead succeeded in delighting the drinker with a taste that lingers long after one has enjoyed a sip of this classic Stellenbosch cabernet.


Sanlam Private Wealth clients can purchase the Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, theHartenberg Merlot 2015 (which scored 95/100 in the renowned British wine magazine Decanter) and the Hartenberg Shiraz 2015 (a cultivar that has a long history of producing award-winning wines for the estate) for a special price of R162 per bottle. The retail price is R195 per bottle.

The offer is open exclusively to SPW clients. All wine offers expire after 30 days. Free delivery across South Africa for 24 bottles or more. Orders may be for one wine only or a combination of the three wines. Subject to availability.

For more information, visit www.hartenbergestate.com

Left to right: Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Hartenberg Shiraz 2015 and Hartenberg Merlot 2015.