Music Room 2014
Like any fine composition the parts need to marry harmoniously. To achieve this in a Cabernet wine takes patience, practice and a favourable season from Mother Nature. The result is a complex, blockbuster with creamy-textured tannins and a serious palate weight balanced by naturally soft acidity.
Cabernet can be made anywhere in the world. The reason this imperialistic grape variety is omnipresent is because it adapts well to different environments. It is an easy traveler that has spread from its recent origins in Bordeaux, France, to most arable corners of the globe. It is relatively easy to make a good Cabernet, but to make a great Cabernet requires brilliant vineyards, resolute dedication and meticulous practice.
Every year we court disaster with the weather, leaving the grapes to hang long past when it is safe for grapes to be on the vine. We don’t want over-ripe, dead fruit, but we want fully ripe fruit. This is a fine line to walk. We just pray each day the next hot, dry north wind isn’t going to blast it flat and shrivel the berries beyond recognition.
Of course, you first have to start with the right vineyards. Our Music Room Cabernet hails from three distinct vineyard blocks.
First, the real core is from an old block of Cabernet high up in the mountains above the hamlet of Ashton on the spectacular farm called Wildepaardekloof, which means “Wild Horse Valley”. Because of the isolation and altitude, this small block is free of the dreaded “Leafroll” virus that has laid waste to so many old, venerable blocks of Cabernet in South Africa.
The second block that gives us so much cassis fruit comes from the slopes of the Waaihoek Mountains between Tulbagh and Worchester high above the Breedekloof valley. This farm is called Silkbush and is the same farm our “Writer’s Block” Pinotage comes from.
The third block is found nestled in the cool, high-altitude climate of Elgin on the farm Glen Fruin and provides us with taut black currant and mint flavours.
The resultant combined aromas and flavours of these spectacularly positioned vineyards are expressed in the final blend as complex, ripe, summer fruits like strawberry, cherry, and black-ripe youngberry. This density of red berry flavours is framed by herbs like fennel, mint and fresh thyme. The bitter chocolate notes and hint of vanilla come from the barrels we use which are hand-coopered to our exacting specifications in a variety of small, family-owned cooperages in Bordeaux and Napa Valley. The tannins are almost creamy in texture. This is directly the result of our ancient, manual practice of gently hand-plunging the fermenting cap down. The serious palate weight is usually balanced by enough natural acidity to compliment intensely flavoured, rich food.
What’s in a Name?
“My Grandmother made me do it…”
Elsie Fraser-Munn was an extraordinary and formidable woman with a real African soul. Widowed at an early age, and with three daughters in tow, she assiduously carved out a living and a majestic reputation teaching and inspiring music throughout Africa. She taught at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, started the Royal Academy of Music in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and a music college on the Copper Belt in Zambia. It was here she was famous for once flagging down a train to catch a lift in the bush, after her trusty VW Beatle spluttered its last breath. Elsie was one formidable human being.
Wherever I worked in the world before I came home, I always struggled to make stop-you-in-your-tracks Cabernet. I just didn’t seem to be able to unmask the hidden, illusive greatness inherent in this variety.
My Grandmother loved midnight feasts, Yorkshire Pudding and… Cabernet. On my return home she said to me, “Be a good boy Bruce and make a nice Cabernet for me.” When Elsie told you to do something, you didn’t really think twice about it – you just got on and did it.
I realised I had to change the way I thought about Cabernet. It was no longer an option to go with the flow and make mediocre Cab. The name Music Room is a tribute to my Grandmother and the life lessons she taught all her grandchildren – mostly through her example. Among other things she taught us that dedication, truth and love are required during the creative process if you want something at the end of it to be proud of. She also taught us the value of having fun and never taking ourselves too seriously. I hope this wine lives up to those mantras.
Deep, dense purple colour. On the nose summer fruits, cassis, fennel, mint, dark, bitter chocolate and the faintest hint of basil - all wrapped up in serious, warm toasty oak. The palate is all about chunky, chewy, magically integrated tannin. This rewarding mouth-feel is complemented by concentrated flavours of youngberry, cassis, blueberry, wild mint and chocolate. A block-buster Cabernet that will live easily for 20 years from bottling if stored correctly.
Love For Music Room 2014
- Silver 2015 IWC
- 4.5 Stars 2014 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
- Bronze 2014 Sommelier Wine Awards
- Commended 2014 Decanter Awards
- 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy Winner 2014 Wine of the Month Club
- 4.5 Stars 2013 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
- Gold 2013 Catavinum World Wine & Spirits Competition
- Gold 2013 Veritas
- Double Gold 2013 Michelangelo International Wine Awards
- Commended 2013 IWC
- Gold 2012 International Wine Challenge Catavinum
- Silver 2011 Decanter Awards
- 4 Stars 2011 John Platter Wine Guide
- Silver 2011 Michelangelo International Wine Awards
- Gold 2011 Mundus Vini International Wine Awards
- Double Gold 2011 Veritas
- Silver (Best in Class) 2011 IWSC
- Diamond 2011 Winemakers Choice Awards
- Gold 2010 Michelangelo International Wine Awards
- Silver Best in Class 2010 IWSC
- Silver 2010 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show
- Bronze 2010 IWC
- Silver 2010 Veritas
- Silver Best in Class 2009 IWSC
- Commended 2009 Decanter Awards
- Silver 2008 Decanter Awards
- Silver Best in Class 2008 IWSC
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Pair this with a crusted rack of lamb, a rich mushroom risotto or organic, free range, grass fed rump steak from 96 Winery Road Restaurant near Stellenbosch. And it will always go well with Yorkshire Pud.
This is the sort of wine you buy two cases of and drink one bottle every year for twenty-four Christmas lunches.
- Alcohol 14.2%
- Residual Sugar 2.2 g/l
- Total Acid 6 g/l
- pH 3.57