Le Riche Wines, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain and in close proximity to the historic town of Stellenbosch, was founded by Etienne le Riche in 1996. As a founding member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, and following an illustrious career as one of the country’s leading winemakers, Etienne embarked on an independent path to create a winery where he could embrace the cultivar he had grown to love and respect, Cabernet Sauvignon. Now run as a family affair, with old-style open-top concrete fermentation tanks supported by a modern, minimal intervention winemaking approach, the winery provides a platform to create premium red wines in a classic South African style.
“Richesse” is a nod to the blending heritage of the Stellenbosch region. The name means “wealth” in French, and it refers to the wealth of winemaking history in Stellenbosc. This wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon–based blend, incorporating Cinsault and smaller amounts of Bordeaux varieties, such as Merlot. In the cellar, the winemaking team vinifies each variety separately for up to a year, before blending takes place. The goal is to allow each variety to express its optimal characteristics. The final blend rests on the structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by a perfumed nose and fruit-forwardness thanks to the Cinsaut, while the other varieties add complexity and texture. The wine shows pretty aromatics of cherry and plum with a hint of oak spice. Full-bodied, with silky fruit, soft tannins and a long finish. It is delicious on its own but even better with grilled sausages or braised beef dishes. A terrific value!
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