Warwick Estate is a 3rd generation, family run estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa nestled in between the Kanonkop and Klapmutskop hills. This property was first a farm, from 1791-1902 until Colonel Alexander Gordon bought the estate in 1902 and renamed it after his Warwickshire regiment. Stan and Norma Ratcliffe bought the 247 acre property in 1964 and sold their Cabernet Sauvignon fruit to high-quality local wineries until 1984, when they released their first vintage. Norma Ratcliffe ‒ often referred to as the “First Lady of South African wine was the first female winemaker in South Africa and is best known for establishing the South African Bordeaux blend category. In 1999, Stan and Norma’s son Mike assumed the role of Managing Director. In 2011, a new winemaker joined the team. An oenology graduate from Stellenbosch University, Nic Van Aarde worked harvests in Australia, New Zealand, California and France and was the winemaker at Mulderbosch before joining Warwick in 2011. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are planted on south facing slopes to Hutton and Clovelly soils. The estate’s 138 acres of vines are farmed in a sustainable manner 40% of which are drip irrigated and no herbicides or pesticides are used.
| Wine Advocate 87 points (Oct 2013)
The 2011 First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon spends 18 months in used oak. It has plenty of strawberry pastille, allspice and star anis scents on the nose that unfurl nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a soy-tinged opening, spicy red fruit and a tinge of marmalade toward the finish. It feels a little loose for young wine and needs to show more cohesion. Drink now-2015.