Tokara, near Stellenbosch, was bought in 1994 by GT Ferreira (who started financial company RCI, which in 1985 merged with Johann Rupert’s Rand Merchant Bank) for residential purposes, but it wasn’t long before the great potential for vineyards was recognised. This was followed by the planting of classic varietals (with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc) on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountain, with its cool air and low temperatures, 400 metres above sea level.
Grapes for this Cabernet were hand picked at optimal ripeness. They were de-stemmed, before passing across a sorting table for the removal of all unwanted material and then crushed directly into tanks for fermentation without the use of pumps. There was a first a period of cold maceration for up to five days before fermentation started spontaneously (without the use of selected yeast strains). The grapes were fermented in stainless steel and wooden upright (foudre) fermenters. Pump-overs, dellastage and punching down of the cap were implemented twice a day for extraction until the fermentation completed. The tanks were given maceration post fermentation. The wines were put to barrel for malolactic fermentation after which they were racked, sulphured and put back to barrel for a further maturation. The wines spent a total of twenty-two months in 63% new French oak – the rest being older French oak barriques. During maturation the wines received four racking’s, all done barrel to barrel.