Mary le Bow – Red 2018

Mary le Bow – Red 2018

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The Mary le Bow is a farm-designate red blend generally consisting of Cabernet and Shiraz, with seasoning pinch of Petit Verdot, Malbec or Merlot. This wine comes from the spectacular, top quality wine farm called Wildepaardeklood (“wild horse valley”), tucked into the mountains high above the rural hamlet of Ashton in the Western Cape hinterland. I have been involved with the farm since the re-planting program was undertaken by the Fraters in the 1990’s. The wine is named after St Mary le Bow Church in the City of London—famous, of course, for the big Bow Bell. Many sources put Mary le Bow as the oldest place of Christian worship in England. Many of the Crusades officially left from St Mary le Bow, and of course the remains of the knights who fought and died in the Holy Land were interned in the crypts The Fraters’ ancestors were some of the last people to be buried there, hence the connection. James asked me to make this wine to fulfil his father’s (Kenneth Frater) vision of a wine that “...almost trembled with power, but never needed to flex its muscle to be enjoyed.” That’s a cool brief for a winemaker!

The Grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness, destemmed onto a sorting table where green berries, leaves and stems were removed. 30% of the grapes were slightly crushed. The grapes were then cold macerated for 5 days. They were then inoculated and fermented between 25 & 27 °C with soft punch downs every 4 hrs. The wine aged predominantly in French Oak, with about 40% new wood for 18 months.

Tasting Note
A warm rich deep ruby red in glass with a watery edge. Beautiful complex nose of blackcurrant, persimmon, cassis, mulberry fruits, buchu and juniper, which follow through to the palate. Layer upon layer of flavour reveals rich mulberry, cassis and mocha flavours. Pure elegance and sophistication.


Wine Vintage Competition/Review Results
2014 Wine Magazine, South Africa
Platter Wine Guide 2017
90 Points
4 Stars
2011 Sommelier Wine Awards 2017 Silver


Wine Specs

Vintage 2018
Varietal Other