Neal Martin - 31/10/2013
About this WINE
Tokara winery, part of the Walker Bay wine region, on the R310 outside Stellenbosch, is nestled among vineyards and olive groves on the crest of the Helshoogte Pass with sweeping views across False Bay and all the way to Table Mountain.
The Tokara farm was purchased in 1994 by GT Ferreira for residential purposes, but it wasn’t long before the great potential for planting vineyards was recognised and explored. Classic varietals were planted on the 400m above sea-level slopes. Under the stewardship of head winemaker, Miles Mossop, Tokara have become one of the leading estates for Bordeaux Blends in the Cape.
Walker Bay is a coastal wine district, located to the south-east of Capetown, near the town of Hermanus (of whale-watching fame).
Walker Bay has a cool, maritime climate. However vineyard virus and small scale production have prevented thsi wine region from competing effectively against the Pinot Noirs from New Zealand.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.