We aim to make wines that are elegant and honest, and that will leave a lasting impression.We have two ranges consisting of four wines each.Our Premium range is made up of a Sauvignon Blanc, Rosebud (a Shiraz/Viognier Rosé), The Blend (a five-way Bordeaux blend), and a Shiraz. Our Reserve range consists of oak-matured wines that are produced on a smaller scale than the Premium range. The Reserve wines are Viognier, Magdalena (a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend), Five Arches (a five-way Bordeaux blend), and Swartrivier Shiraz. The focus is on the best possible quality, from handpicked grapes to meticulous sorting, subtle pressing and maturation in oak barrels. All our wines are Wine of Origin Cape South Coast, Walker Bay District, Bot River Ward.
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Rosebud, as the name suggests, is like an unopened rose. Not aiming to be an over the top explosion of floral and fruity, but rather restrained, elegant and moreishly delicious.
The 2016 vintage of this wine is certainly our best yet – and a perfect team effort between winemakers Peter-Allan Finlayson and Christiaan van der Merwe. It is slightly drier than previous vintages, and lighter in colour, made more in the “Provençal” style of Southern France. Flavours of papaya, rose and melon are apparent but not overpowering, with spicy red fruit in the background thanks to the Syrah component.Complex, but infinitely drinkable, Rosebud 2016 will delight and surprise.
Grapes were picked on 9 February 2016 at a balling of about 23, and the two varieties were pressed together (55% Shiraz and 45% Viognier), making it (at least from a technical perspective) a Blanc de Noir. To be enjoyed chilled, with friends (or not) on sunny days. Perfect accompaniment to smoked salmon or sushi.
Sauvignon Blanc 2016
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A classically styled Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of cut grass, kiwi fruit, blackcurrant and hints of citrus and tropical fruit. The palate is multilayered with a sophisticated, fresh mouth feel and a crisp vibrancy with lingering flavours of Cape gooseberry, lime and zesty fruit flowing into a subtle mineral finish.
The Blend 2015
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The Blend is a four-way Bordeaux style blend that is either Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon led, Malbec and Petit Verdot being the other building blocks. During harvest, the selection of the best fruit starts in the vineyard. The grapes are handpicked into table grape crates and individual berry sorting further ensures that only the best quality, optimally ripe grapes are vinified. The cool maritime climate of the farm results in naturally lower yields – an average of eight to ten tons per hectare.During fermentation, the grapes undergo a three to five-day cold soaking at 12°C, which enables a gentle, water-based extraction of colour, flavour and structure. A combination of traditional and modern extraction methods is used. A membrane press is used to gently release the promise of the fruit, with no more than 0.8 bars of pressure being applied.After 12 months of oak maturation in barrique, the winemaker selects the best barrels through a rigorous blind tasting process. The chosen barrels undergo further tastings to determine the percentages of the different varieties that will go into the final blend, to produce a wine that truly reflects the style and character of our Bot River Bordeaux varieties.
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We have seven different clones of Shiraz on the farm, each lending different elements to the final blend. A portion of the Shiraz is planted on Bokkeveld shale, giving body and structure, while the portion planted on sandstone gives elegance and floral, spicy characters.The Bot River climate naturally gives us very low yields. From 2009 onwards, we began to pick the Shiraz grapes slightly earlier, as our aim is to produce lower alcohol wines, rich with intensity. The flavour profiles of white pepper and red berries are typical of Bot River Shiraz. During fermentation the grapes undergo a three to five-day cold soak at 12oC. One-third of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels (mostly French oak). The rest of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks. All the wine is then matured in oak barrels for about 12 months.
Magdalena is our flagship white wine, named after the owner Bernhard Heyns’s sister. The idea initially was to blend only a small component of Semillon with the Sauvignon Blanc, but it was eventually decided to make Semillon the main component (53%) – and to create a wine of distinction.The Semillon is fermented and matured in bigger oak barrels (400 and 500-litre French and Romanian oak) for about six months before it is blended with the Sauvignon Blanc. We use the pick of the blocks for the Semillon and harvest at a slightly higher balling, giving it the ability to handle a little oak maturation.
Magdalena is the result of the careful blending of the natural entities that make Gabriëlskloof unique. In the glass, the wine reflects the richness and minerality of the Bot River soils, the fruit perfume of the cultivars that results from our maritime climate, and is gentle, stylish and elegant.
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The wine is made from single vineyard Viognier grown on Bokkeveld shale on a northern slope. We pick the grapes at full ripeness, but we rely on the taste of the berries to dictate the day of picking. Viognier is perhaps one of the least attractive grapes in the vineyard – a true ugly duckling that turns into a most beautiful and elegant wine.The grapes are harvested when the characteristic perfume flavours are apparent in the fruit. Viognier is usually quite high in sugar, resulting in high alcohol wines. The site at Gabriëlskloof gives natural high acidity at high sugar levels, both of which are unusual for South African Viognier. The style of this Viognier is aromatic, with pawpaw, orange blossom and yellow stone fruit on the nose. It is very lively and fresh.The grapes are pressed and then fermented in 300 and 400-litre French oak barrels. The wine is then kept in the original barrels for six to nine months depending on the vintage.
Five Arches 2012
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In architecture, an arch is a structural feature, usually of masonry and typically having a capstone that prevents the collapse of the curved structure by distributing the force of gravity into lateral pressure. In the same way, the blending of our Reserve Bordeaux style wine is undertaken with great care, and the selection of the very best barrels for each variety. The Five Arches is structured on the five building blocks of Bordeaux, with Cabernet Franc as its capstone. It is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot.The young wine obtained by gentle pressing in a membrane press is transferred to 225-litre barriques for maturation. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrique. The majority of oak is French, with a small American and Hungarian component. After 12 months in 100% new barriques a careful selection is made, the selected barrels are racked and the wine is transferred to 100% French second-fill barriques for another 10 months of maturation. This is done to allow the fruit flavours to come to the fore. A year of bottle aging is completed before release.
Swartrivier Shiraz 2011
The Swart River is a tributary of the Bot River. It rises in the Swartberg, northeast of Caledon, and flows southwest to its confluence with the Bot about 4km south of the town of Botrivier. Afrikaans for ‘black river’, the name is translated from the Khoi-Khoi word Dogghakamma. It is apt that our most revered wine should be named for this river, as it is also the name of the road on which Gabriëlskloof is located – the Swartrivierpad (the Swart River Road).
This wine is a blend of Shiraz and Mourvèdre. The majority of oak used is French, with an American component. After 12 months of maturation in 100% new barriques a careful selection is made. The selected barriques are racked and the wine is transferred to 100% French second-fill barriques for another 10 months. This is done to allow the fruit flavours to come to the fore. A year of bottle aging is completed before the wine is released.
Sample the current vintages of Gabriëlskloof wines daily. In winter, you can savour the wines while comfortably seated in front of roaring log fires and in summer you can relax in our courtyard surrounded by lush lawns and tranquil, reflective ponds. Our tasting room has spectacular views of the valley, vineyards and adjacent farms. Keep an eye out for the wide variety of birds that also call Gabriëlskloof home.
Cellar Door Hours:
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturdays: 11am to 3pm
Wine tasting closed on Sundays
If you have a group of more than eight people, please call us in advance to make a reservation. The R15/R30 wine tasting fee is waived when you buy any of our wine. Private tastings and cellar tours can also be arranged.