Taaibosch Crescendo 2018


Profound, poised and authentic, this maiden release is the most exciting new project to come out of Stellenbosch in a decade. The Taaibosch 2018 Crescendo continues the legacy of the famed Cordoba Crescendo of the late ‘90s. It is the ultimate expression of high-altitude Cabernet Franc from prime Helderberg terroir, backed by visionary international investment and crafted by Schalk-Willem Joubert (ex-Rupert & Rothschild).

Tasting notes:
‘Very few recent South African releases have been as eagerly awaited as this 2018 red from the old Cordoba property on the flank of the Helderberg. And it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Cabernet Franc-centred, with 24% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, the new crescendo is a beautifully refined, detailed red from 21-year-old vines. Violet and cut grass aromas lead into a palate that is fresh, bright and comparatively low in alcohol with filigree tannins, subtle wood, fine tension and the focus and balance to age. What a début! Drink 2024-32.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2021, 97/100

‘Great value at the highest level in 2018. 65% cab franc with merlot, & 5% cedary cab adding to the fine, firm structure. Plush & intense dark fruit resolves with air into complex & lovely wine – but deserves many years in bottle. Subtly matured in 9,000L & 225L oak & cement.’ – Platter’s Guide, 5* (95/100)

‘This wine conforms to the classically defined Crescendo blend (Cheval Blanc inspired) of 65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from vines of 20 years of age or older. On opening in the early afternoon, the Crescendo 2018 was dense, tight and grippy with mouth coating tannins drying the front and sides of the palate. Nevertheless, the over-riding sensation was one of underlying elegance, purity of fruit and intensity sitting in the clutches of a youthful fist clench. Tasting the wine over the following 4 hours started to reveal its true pedigree which admittedly could easily have been missed on the initial pop and pour prognosis. With a little time to open its shoulders, the aromatics really start to unfurl classic notes of sweet cedary briary spice, saline inky black currant fruits, buttered brown toast, rose oil, dried violets, hints of graphite and led pencil shavings. The palate is decidedly mineral and classical with stony, textured fine grained tannins that are powerful and imposing yet ripe and supple enough to allow the layers of black and red berry fruits to slowly emerge. There is fabulous density, plenty of dry extract and concentration all pointing to a power-packed wine that is built with extended ageing in mind. In many ways, the design and texture of this wine harks back to a bygone era where immediacy and complete accessibility on release were not always the winemaker’s primary objectives. This wine has wonderful gravitas, an individual character and a real palate presence and continues to tantalise the senses right up to the very last sip that is loaded with a lovely broad blood orange acidity and mouth-watering salinity. I feel confident this wine is something really special to bury in your cellar for drinking over a good 15 to 20+ years. An impressive homage to the original Crescendo blends of the late 1990s.’ – Greg Sherwood MW, 95/100

‘The first release is the Crescendo 2018, a blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in a combination of 225-litre oak barrels, 9 000-liter foudre, and 4 500-liter cement tanks. Engaging aromatics of red berries, some leafiness, and pencil shavings precede a palate that is medium-bodied (alcohol is 13.5%) with good freshness and fine, chalky tannins. It combines clarity of fruit with a pleasing tension and comes across as both elegant and understated, very much recalling the Crescendo that Chris Keet made in the late 1990s.’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 92/100

‘Deep and seductive, with shy red and brooding dark fruit. An earthy, savoury base note lifted by fresh shards of crushed stone, tilled soil and aromatic herbs and wrapped up in fine oak spice accents. The palate follows with a cool entry, lively red fruit, classic Bordeaux notes of plush fruit over fine-grained tannins. Ready to drink now as it is utterly sumptuous on the palate, delivering on that seductive nose, but with such refined tannins that it is sure to last for a decade and beyond. The subtle richness is perfectly poised by balancing freshness and such exquisite purity. This wine is impressive and classic, yet undeniably modern. It is as delicious as any Bordeaux in this class at twice, even three times the price. Long, chalky and savoury-coated tannins leave a long and balanced impression.’ – James Pietersen (Feb 2021)

‘Most profound wine release of the year? The decade? It has to be Taaibosch – Cabernet Franc expression on prime Helderberg terroir. The old Cordoba has been revived with Schalk-Willem Joubert (ex R&R) at the helm and proper international investment. The Taaibosch Crescendo 2018 is 60/40 Cabernet Franc and Merlot, checking in at 13.5% alcohol with cement, barrel and large foudre ageing. Decades of experience meets incredible terroir. Engaging, aromatic, elegant and profound. It’s new-wave wine in honesty and poise, but modern in its purity and precision. The vision is long term, which matches the perfectly structured wine. It’s very, very good.’ – Roland Peens (Jan 2021)

‘The Crescendo is a true reflection of the terroir from which its grapes originate, and is particularly characteristic of wine made in the historic region of Stellenbosch. It is the Cabernet Franc in particular, where purity of the fruit is amplified by the site on which it is grown. Notes of white pepper, cloves, and red berries gives this wine delightful aromatics to pleasure the senses. The tension in the wine lends itself to an elegant finish, bringing together the various elements in a genteel fashion culminating in a well-polished wine.’ – Winemaker

7 in stock.
As our stock is sold through our two retail outlets and online, stock levels are provided as a guide only and are liable to change.