Wine Spectator 89 points - Slightly rugged in feel, with a charcoal frame around the black currant, black cherry and licorice root core, giving way to a tarry-edged finish. Solid, but for fans of the grippy style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2016. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 91 cases made. –JM
(Jun 30 2014)
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.
|Warwick Estate is a family-owned and run winery. Managing Director Michael Ratcliffe is the 3rd generation family member to oversee this high quality boutique operation. From 1771 till 1902, Warwick was known as the farm ‘De Goede Sukses’. After the Anglo Boer war ended in 1902, Colonel William Alexander Gordon, Commanding Officer of the Warwickshire regiment bought the historic farm. He renamed it ‘Warwick’ as a tribute to his regiment and the rest, as they say, is history.
Stan Ratcliffe purchased Warwick on April 1st 1964 after an extensive search for the best ‘terroir’ in the Cape. Together with his wife Norma, they soon realized the potential of the extraordinary property and began
planting Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines produced high quality grapes, which were soon in demand from neighbouring wineries. Norma became more and more interested in the making of wine and began to study the subject. Soon a cellar was in place and Norma began producing her own handcrafted wines using the Warwick grapes.
In 1984 the first Warwick Cabernet Sauvignon called ‘La Femme Bleu’- the Blue Lady - was released. Norma had a natural talent for making great wines and in 1986 Warwick Trilogy was released, a Bordeaux style blend which has since become a flagship of the South African Wine Industry.