The Reyneke vineyards are herbicide, pesticide and fungicide free. Just like any organic vineyard should be. Instead of spraying weeds with poison, companion plants are carefully selected and grown amongst the vines to out compete the weeds. These companion plants have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, help break up compacted soil or even harbour a beneficial insect or two. The Reyneke farm is independently certified, which honestly and transparently says that they are practicing what they preach. By allowing Dandelion ‘weeds’ to grow, they ensure that the measly Mealybug lives on its roots rather than the vines. Instead of using systemic fungicides they use very limited amounts of natural fungicides like copper and sulphur. And they are even trying to do away with these natural fungicides. It’s early days yet but they’re trying to replace them entirely and only apply biological controls like trichoderma and metabolite. With these basics right, it’s only natural to take organics to the next level. Specific biodynamic preparations are added to the compost and applied directly to the vineyards. These preparations consist of specially formulated herbal, mineral and organic substances that enhance the soil, and simultaneously boost plant and animal life.
The 2019 Cornerstone (in UK/Europe) or Capstone depending upon which side of the Atlantic you call home, comprises 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, fully-stemmed and fermented in concrete tanks using an isolated yeast. The Cabernet Sauvignon is matured in new oak. It takes a little time to settle into its groove, eventually offering brambly red fruit, a light herbal element from the Cabernet Franc, a little Saint-Émilion in style. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip, lightly spiced with a dash of cracked black pepper and tobacco towards the finish. A little broody at the moment, this deserves some bottle age. Sophisticated yet it needs time to
lose its bashful nature. [92 Points, Neal Martin – August 2022, vinous.com]