2020 Aslina Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa (750ml)

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As South Africa’s first Black female winemaker and South African Woman Winemaker of the Year, Ntsiki Biyela continues to forge her path as an icon in the world of wine.  Hailing from the rolling hills of Zululand, Ntsiki grew up in Mahlabathini, a rural village in KwaZulu-Natal. In the late 1990s, she embarked on a life-changing journey to the Cape Winelands, where she discovered her passion for wine. After working for a year as a domestic worker, she was awarded a scholarship to study winemaking at Stellenbosch University in 1999. She graduated in 2003 with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology and joined boutique winery Stellekaya as their winemaker the following year. Ntsiki’s ambition to create her own wines grew following a collaboration with Californian winemaker, Helen Kiplinger, as part of Mika Bulmash’s Wine for the World initiative. It was over dinner (and a glass of wine or two) with her new colleagues in the USA that she shared the inspiration behind her ambition. In 2016, she established Aslina Wines, a tribute to the strength and determination of the biggest influence in her life, her beloved grandmother, Aslina.

This bottling is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot, sourced from sustainably farmed, IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) and WIETA (Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association) certified growers. Grapes were handpicked in March 2020. After vinification, the young wine was aged in oak for 16 months. 45% in first fill (new) barrels and the rest in second and third fills. Bottled in July 2021, filtered but not fined. 250 cases produced.

Dark garnet. Bramble and dark plum on the nose. Full of desiccated, brambly berries, dried blueberry and black plum skin, accented with graphite and a touch of dry earthiness and spice on the finish, which shows a pleasantly balanced acid and medium tannins. Each sip of her wine seeks to convey the “passion, elegance, and vision with which it was crafted—one of love, beauty and serenity.” And we can, most certainly, drink to that!

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