The Marathon is sourced from our Tulbagh wine farm, which is chosen for its production of grapes with rich flavours and deep colours. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is a handcrafted wine that stands shoulder to shoulder the great Cabs of the world.
The berries grown in Tulbagh are smaller than you might expect from a cultivar already renowned for small fruit, similar to the famed Bordeaux and the hillsides of Napa Valley. This is the first sign of the potential intense character to come.
When you lift your glass of Marathon you will notice the inky depth of the wine, as you tilt the glass you will see the depth extend almost to the edge. This intensity of colour demonstrates the care taken to extract the full colour of the small berries during winemaking. This is achieved by fermenting the Cabernet Sauvignon in small upright barrels and gently punching down the cap to encourage colour in the juice. This is reminiscent of a simpler time of Old-World winemaking.
Lifting the glass to your nose the first scent is intense black-fruit and with time you experience the aromas unfold. There are black cherries, cassis, dried black cherry jam, with notes of figs and fruitcake. These warm aromas, supported by a toasty note, lead the way to more mineral scents of crushed rocks, graphite, and slate.
This complexity captures some of the most revered characteristics of the world’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon regions. The intense cassis and graphite of Bordeaux and Napa Valley, the black fruit of Australia’s Margaret River and Chile’s notes of fig. The mineral notes are reminiscent of Bordeaux’s famed regions of Saint-Estèphe and Pessac-Léognan. The specifically chosen Mercurey French oak barrels imparts toasty notes that are in harmony with the complex aroma.
As you take your first sip you are rewarded with how the intense character on the nose follows through to the palate. You will notice how the palate is dense and rich with sweet tannins that are well integrated. These tannins are made possible by conscientious care in the vineyard. The hot climate is mediated by cooling winds and foliage management that offers the respite of shade during the height of the day’s sunlight. The result is berries that ripen gently and the tannins ripen fully while retaining balance sugar and acid. The French oak imparts a hint of Old-World elegance which rounds out the palate in contrast to Napa Valley’s affinity for the more vanilla American Oak.
The intensity of character in the Marathon is clear from pouring the first drop, it weaves together a story of worldliness and at the same time a sense of place, promising a wine that will create a moment in time.