BEHIND OUR WINES
The golden thread throughout every step of the Le Riche winemaking process is meticulous attention to detail. Just as with the uncompromising vineyard selection and grape sourcing, so the team dedicate the same level of care to working with the grapes in the winery. After fermentation and the initial ageing, blending forms the final key step in determining the style and character of each wine.
The Le Riche portfolio is made up of three core wines all made using Cabernet Sauvignon, with each wine receiving equal consideration while showcasing a different facet of the grape.WINEMAKERS HARVEST REPORT
RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The coveted Le Riche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the flagship of our range, blended using only Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from our best performing vineyard blocks from Stellenbosch. These selections are then micro-vinified in open-top fermenters. Extended maceration takes place in order to increase the overall age-ability of the final wine along with aging in oak.
At the appropriate stage, Etienne, Christo and Yvonne taste and blend together as a team. The final blend matures with a generous amount of new oak barrels for up to two years, with further ageing in bottle before release. 'Reserve' status is exclusively endowed if the grapes and resulting wine measure up to an exceptional standard, resulting in a wine of limited quantities and available on an allocation basis only.
The Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon is the true backbone of the range, crafted using only a selection of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Supple, elegant and rich with layers of fruit, this is our expression of the quintessential Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch.
The grapes are selected from various vineyard sites in the Simonsberg, Jonkershoek and Helderberg wards. The conscientiously considered blend of cool gravelly slopes facing False Bay and rich red granitic soils around Stellenbosch ensures a beautiful balance of aromas and flavours. Matured for up to two years in French oak barrels and bottled unfined, the result is a Cabernet Sauvignon that brims with complex flavours thanks to the blended fruit from diverse terroir. It can be enjoyed young or will benefit beautifully from cellaring.
As advocates of Stellenbosch, the Richesse is a nod to the blending heritage of the region. 'Richesse' means 'wealth' in French, and the name refers to the wealth of winemaking history the Stellenbosch region has to its name. This wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend, incorporating Cinsaut and smaller amounts of Bordeaux cultivars such as Merlot. It represents a time-honoured tradition of Cabernet Sauvignon production within the Stellenbosch region, where blending with Cinsaut was prevalent pre-1980 and blending with Bordeaux varieties became popular post-1980.
In the cellar, the winemaking team vinifies each varietal separately for up to a year, before blending takes place. The goal is to allow each variety to express its optimal characteristics. Therefore, the final blend rests on the structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon, and is complemented by a perfumed nose and fruit-forwardness thanks to the Cinsaut, while the other varieties add to the complexity and texture. The Richesse is a versatile wine and an excellent complement to any dish, especially South African braais.
As the only white wine in the Le Riche portfolio, Chardonnay is often referred to as the 'Queen of the Grape Kingdom', making it the perfect match to the 'King of the Grapes', Cabernet Sauvignon. Stellenbosch terroir is ideal for producing excellent offerings of Chardonnay, making a fitting white pairing to our red wine focus.
The Le Riche Chardonnay grapes are sourced from two separate vineyards from the southern area of Stellenbosch. Here, the vines face the cooling winds from False Bay, resulting in fruit that has a delicate structure and a slight minerality. With subtle oaking in order to highlight the inherent fruit freshness and citrus zest naturally present in the wine, the Chardonnay is a blend between tank and barrel fermented fruit. Aged for five months in barrel and on lees for a further six months, the final result shows a fresh acidity and fruit-forwardness while remaining dynamic in complexity.