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Edgebaston’s GS Cabernet Sauvignon is dedicated to the late George Spies, former winemaker at Monis of Paarl and then Stellenbosch Farmers Winery. Spies’ 1966 and 1968 GS Cabernets have been heralded as two of the most extraordinary Cabernets ever made in South Africa and have been compared to the legendary California Cabernets of André Tchelistcheff from that same era. The 2008 Edgebaston GS Cabernet Sauvignon bears much in common with George Spies’ now famous Cabernet: both are deep, dark tannic wines in their youth, which is why we have not featured the GS Cabernet until it had acquired some years in the bottle and begun to come of age. In the first five years of life, this wine showed its youthful ardor, not unlike a muscular young First Growth Bordeaux. Think Chateau Margaux, Lafite and Latour. Happily, in the past year, the 2008 Edgebaston GS has begun to open up to reveal more than a glimpse of its future glory. Although still extraordinarily deep and powerful and far from its apogee, it has taken on a satiny patina and begun to offer up beautiful aromatics and a core of fruit, earth, and spice that continue to evolve for hours in the glass. David Finlayson’s GS Cabernet is a theoretical mélange of Classified Bordeaux wed to New World fruit and all the attributes inherent in the fabulous terroir of Stellenbosch. Consequently, this outstanding effort should come as no surprise given David’s experience with great Cabernet at Chateau Margaux and his own estate. In short, the 2008 Edgebaston GS looks to be another legend in the making. For current consumption, we suggest decanting the 2008 Edgebaston GS Cabernet Sauvignon one hour or more before serving at no more than 64°F.
What does one serve with the finest Cabernet Sauvignon? How about the finest meal one can muster? In South Africa, lamb, beef, ostrich, and all manner of antelope (kudu, springbok, etc.) constitute the preferred accompaniments to the best Cabernets, and Edgebaston’s 2008 GS Cabernet Sauvignon certainly belongs in the company of the best that South Africa has to offer. Having enjoyed lamb all over the world, we have found that none can beat the finest South African lamb for flavor, tenderness and texture, so our number one pairing with this wine goes to lamb, grilled or roasted, rubbed with fresh garlic and basted with olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme. If South African lamb is not available, good domestic or New Zealand spring lamb provides a reasonable substitute. Consequently, Ossobuco certainly gets a nod as well. Braised venison served with caramelized onions offers another tasty companion. And yes, dry aged beef, preferably a Rib-Eye or Porterhouse, topped with Portabella mushrooms in a rich, herb-infused sauce works wonders, too, in the presence of David Finlayson’s 2008 Edgebaston GS Cabernet. Enjoy!
“A man’s wine lives after him, bottled, corked and sealed in other men’s memories.” -C. de Bosdari Wines of the Cape, 3rd edition
Edgebaston is synonymous with modern winemaking on South Africa’s Western Cape. Originally from Scotland, the Finlayson family has for three generations made outstanding wines in Stellenbosch and has in recent years been instrumental in transforming the Cape wine industry from a dwindling domestic business to a thriving international venture receiving world wide acclaim.
The father and son team of David and Walter Finlayson present impressive credentials. Walter made wine at South Africa’s Blaauwklippen winery for more than 15 years where he twice coveted “Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year” awards in addition to a host of other prestigious awards. While still at Blaauwklippen, Walter purchased the now renowned Glen Carlou farm in Paarl, which he and son David transformed into one of South Africa’s leading wineries. Subsequently, Walter has become best known for producing South Africa’s wine of the year in 2005.
In addition to his award winning work at Glen Carlou, David Finlayson has honed his winemaking skills at a number of prestigious addresses. David performed winemaking stints at Peter Lehmann, one of Australia’s iconic wineries, and world renowned Château Margaux before starting Edgebaston. In 2003 Walter and David sold their shares in Glen Carlou (although Walter still served as Glen Carlou’s Managing Director) and purchased what is now Edgebaston, a beautiful estate on the hills overlooking Stellenbosch, South Africa’s premier appellation and wine town. From the beginning, critics have lauded Edgebaston for its quality, value and innovation, and we count the Finlaysons’ budding Edgebaston winery among our best finds in recent years.
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