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Your Personal Wine Recommendation: Benchmark Cabernet

The Rebirth Of A Living Legend

This Cabernet floored me. I grew up in South Africa many years ago and back in the day a legendary Cabernet was a single vineyard Cabernet made by Spies and bottles from the 1960’s were considered the finest wine the country has ever made. This wine was like the 1974 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard, an absolute legend. Now playing forward in time, one of South Africa’s greatest winemakers is David Finlayson, making the Glen Carlou wines the finest South African wines known world-wide and the Winery subsequent sale to Donald Hess. David happened to taste a bottle of Spies Cabernet from the 1960’s and he blown away. He set out on a crusade to remake and recreate this great wine. He was able to come to an agreement with the widow Ronelle Spies to make a Cabernet from the original 1.5 acre vineyard in Stellenbosch from the original 1960’s Spies Cabernet was sourced from and the wine I bring you today was born. Finlayson has now started his own winery called Edgebaston and he has named the wine the 2008 Edgebaston G. S. Cabernet in honor of winemaker George Spies. The wine is one of the toughest wines to get in South Africa and shows how South African Cabernet rivals and ages with the best in the world. I have secured a tiny amount of the wine and there is no more. Lovers of Cabernet, do not miss this wine. Looking at Cult Napa Cab pricing these days, the wine is a steal for what’s in the bottle.

Edgebaston Cabernet GS 2008 Stellenbosch; South Africa $49.99

Highly Allocated and Very Limited 93pts WE
Hearty and complex, this beautifully intense yet balanced Cab is begging for some time in the cellar. Strong aromas of cassis, forest berries, licorice, clove and bittersweet chocolate flood the nose, while flavors of black plum, leather hide, roasted cocoa nibs and cigar box spice unfold in the lush mouth and transition through to the long finish. With everything so proportionately big and powerful, give this until 2014– 2018.

The G.S. Cabernet Sauvignon acquired its name in honor of George Spies and his legendary So. African wines from the 1966 and 1968 vintage(s), reads the back label.

It is the Finlayson family's firm belief that Stellenbosch has and always will remain South Africa's finest winemaking region, “this is where we wish to continue to create wonderful wines for the discerning wine collector.”

From the winery
: “Edgebaston wines are made by David Finlayson on the Finlayson family vineyards in Stellenbosch. The range of wines is made to reflect the personality and winemaking philosophy of the region and the Finlayson family. Quality and a holistic approach to the production of our wines is our ethos. We strive to farm the land, grow the grapes and make the wine in an environmentally friendly manner whilst ensuring that each wine is world class. It is the Finlayson family's firm belief that Stellenbosch has always and will remain South Africa's finest winemaking region, this is where we wish to continue to create wonderful wines for the discerning wine collector. Koopmanskloof is set in the Bottelary Hills in Stellenbosch, with a wine tradition dating back to 1777. We are proud of this heritage, and our wines prove it.”

The Winemaking Finlayson Family
The Finlayson family is synonymous with modern era winemaking in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Three generations of Finlayson’s have played a shaping role in steering the Cape wine industry in the direction of the international wine world. Current leading Cape winemaker , David Finlayson was born into a winemaking family with his grandfather Dr Maurice Finlayson, a well-known pathologist originally from Inverness in Scotland, having started the family wine business at Hartenberg farm in Koelenhof, Stellenbosch. It was here that his two sons learnt to make wine. First, Walter who was trained as a stockman in Scotland and then Peter took turns at running the farm. Due to the large family occupying the farm, Walter decided to head off and create his own future. He worked at Blaauwklippen wines for 15 years where he twice won the coveted “Diners Club Winemaker of the Year” awards amongst many other prestigious prizes. While at Blaauwklippen, he purchased the farm Glen Carlou in Paarl. He set about developing the farm and was joined by son David in 1993.

David qualified as a winemaker at Elsenburg Agricultural college in Stellenbosch as Dux student and then proceeded to travel the world gaining winemaking experience at first in Australia (Peter Lehmann Wines) and New Zealand(Te Mata) and then in France at the world renowned Chateau Margaux. In 1996 David took control of the winemaking at Glen Carlou and proceeded to build the winery into one of South Africa’s leading quality brands gaining numerous awards for the Glen Carlou Chardonnay, Syrah and Grand Classique blend. Included most recently in these awards were SAA wine of the year 2005 and John Platter Wine of the Year 2006. In 2003 Walter and David sold their shares in Glen Carlou and while David remains at Glen Carlou as Managing Director, started to build up a boutique wine farm of their own in Stellenbosch. They bought the Stellenbosch farm Woodlands which is situated on the fringes of the town along the R44 between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts. The neighbouring farms are the award winning L’Avenir, Remhoogte and Morgenhof wineries and it is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg facing North East through to South East.

From the early 1930’s it belonged to the Micklem family who bought the 34 hectare property when the farm Edgebaston was subdivided. During the past 60 years, first Walter Finlayson and then his son David , who were close friends of the Micklem family, spent many happy times on the property as it was close to the then Finlayson family farm, Hartenberg. The property has shale soils, unique to this particular part of Stellenbosch and have proved themselves to give wines with excellent structure , classic style and minerality. Initially ,David invested his time and energy in ensuring that only the best vines were planted , nurtured, raised onto the trellis and started producing fine wines. Walter oversees the daily management of the vines and wines and as a combined force they produce wines which show the essence of who the family is and what they stand for in making classic wines which are suitable for maturation , not simply for winning shows. The first wines from Woodlands Farm have been named Edgebaston . Interestingly there are a number of coincidences that have made the name a distinct choice for the Finlayson Family’s new release. The properties original land title is registered as Edgebaston and the official registration with the SA Wine Services for the property is still Edgebaston. Edgebaston , UK, is also where David’s Maternal Grandfather, Gordon Egerton was born and raised.

With the Paternal side of the family from Inverness , it was then decided to have a depiction of the Scottish heritage of the family and what better way than to use the family’s own unique design of the Scottish Thistle in the logo. While many winemakers have been forced out of the Stellenbosch area to places where the land is cheaper, the Finlayson’s have never believed in taking the easy route and due to their firm belief that Stellenbosch has always and will remain South Africa’s finest winemaking region, this is where they want to create wonderful wines for the discerning wine collector. The wines currently produced are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre/Tannat/Syrah , Chardonnay and in 2008 there will be a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend released.

This hand-picked wine is ready to ship. To see other personal wine recommendations we are offering customers CLICK HERE Each wine has been carefully selected to recommend. You might want to mix and match. Need help? Call 1 800 434 9463 (WINE) and ask for your Wine Advisor, Ty.

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