Le Riche Wines, home of the essential Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon

September 30th, 2016 by karen

I spent the morning with Etienne and Christo Le Riche this week. 

It was wonderful to have the focused time with the father and son due and touching the iceberg of their philosophies and approach to their brand. The Chardonnay was delicious and would I love to see more of that in future. But, their focus on Cabernet Sauvignon has honed their product to precision and the generosity of sharing the older vintages for perspective was much appreciated. Despite some vintages being more difficult than others, and despite each of us attending having a favourite, every single wine poured showed focus, passion and accomplishment!

They’ll be opening their gardens for tastings on Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm soon – see you there!


Founded in 1996 by Etienne Le Riche, the Le Riche winemaking family consists of Etienne, Christo and Yvonne, with Mark Daniels completing the team. The Le Riche family has made it their business to produce the definitive expression of a Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon, and to great acclaim.


“If you choose the right grapes, you don’t have to interfere – the terroir speaks for itself,” says Etienne le Riche.


In order to accomplish this, grapes are carefully sourced from a handful of producers. Only Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from small vineyard parcels in the Stellenbosch region are used, and selected for their unique expression of this specific terroir. The grapes are hand-sorted and pressed on the farm, then allowed to ferment in open top tanks with as little intervention as possible. The results are a limited selection of sought-after wines, known for their elegance and consistency.


“Production is 8000 cases a year, with the Reserve range consisting of only about 1000 cases. The wines are rare, but worth sourcing.”


A solid element of the well-known Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon deserves to be appreciated as a single varietal on its own merits. Cabernet Sauvignon pairs very well with food, and if made well, like the Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon, can be aged successfully for years. Le Riche Wines keep an extensive cellar, and many vintages go back fifteen years, showing consistent quality in the way that the wines have aged. Newcomers to wine might find the thought of graduating to Cabernet Sauvignon intimidating, and we asked Christian Eedes of Winemag why Millennials and new wine drinkers should consider the cultivar.
He feels that Cabernet Sauvignon and its association with Bordeaux and the Napa Valley makes it the ultimate Baby Boomer variety. However, Millennials should not overlook it entirely, because one of Cabernet Sauvignon’s key attributes is that it maintains a recognisable character wherever it is grown in the world – and it is grown widely. Millennials have grown up with the internet and smartphones and are therefore much more outward-looking than previous generations. In addition, they are putting off commitments like marriage and home ownership and are more inclined to spend their money on experiences like travel. What a pleasure then to experience Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia this year, from the US the next and from France the year after. And of course – from specialist producers like the local Le Riche Wines.


“The wines are widely regarded as excellent, and with the standard label selling for around R240 a bottle and the reserve for R480, they can be had for not very much money in a global context,” says Christian.


Le Riche Wines invites you to their First Open Thursdays. From October to March 2017, the family garden will be open from 17:00-19:00 on the first Thursday of every month. This allows the unlucky souls who have to work from 8 to 5 the opportunity to taste these great wines in a beautiful and relaxed environment. The cost is R50 per person, and reservations can be made by phoning (021) 842 3472, or send a mail to wine@leriche.co.za


Follow the hashtag #drinkLeRiche on social media, and become part of the conversation. More information on www.leriche.co.za




Issued on behalf of Le Riche Wines by Destinate. For high resolution visuals, or more information, contact media@destinate.co.za or phone 021 882 8935.


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