Young Guns and New Wave Producers

Timed Online Auction, 17 - 27 November 2023

Young Gun and New Wave Producers

Sold for

ZAR 8 794
Lot 85
  • Restless River; Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical ; 2013 - 2018; 6 (1 x 6); 750ml

Lot Estimate
ZAR 8 500 - 12 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 8 794

About this Item

Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical , 2013 - 2018
6 (1 x 6) 750ml

Boasting some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the infamous Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and situated just 5km from the Atlantic Ocean, Restless River is owned and run by husband and wife team Craig and Anne Wessels. Preferring to do things by hand and producing roughly only 1000 cases of each variety a year.

Critics Ratings

'Previously just with variety name. 13 poised, lively & delicious, after slighter, greener 12 (4*). One of the Cape’s more characterful & elegant cabs – properly dry, fresh & under 14% alcohol. Balanced, charming & ripe, though some find it too herbal.' – Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2017, 4.5*

'Craig Wessels is the only person to have made a success of stand alone Cabernet Sauvignon in the Hemel-en-Aarde region, but what a triumph this is. Leafy, herbal. Poised and cassis scented, with finely judged tannins and oak, refreshing acidity and a long, tapering, stony finish. Drink: 2016-22’ – Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2016, 95/100

‘Leafy dark fruit. Finely textured, refined tannins. Definitely cooler climate but still with fully ripe cassis and flavours. Very firm grip at the moment. Needs more time and/or food.’ – Julia Harding MW,, 17+/20 (Oct 2017)

‘Classic blackcurrant, cedar & herbal notes on 2014, cool-climate herbaceous hint well covered by ripe fruit. Fresh & vital, thriving acid & tannin important to character. 20% new oak; 14.1% alcohol. As always, less rich & fulsome than cab from warmer regions.’ – Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2018, 4.5* (92/100)

‘There are slightly more Cabernet Sauvignons in the cool Hemel-en-Aarde Valley than you’d imagine (three to precise), but this is easily the best of the trio. Fresh, savoury and herbal with fine tannins, good structure and density and an artist’s use of wood ageing. 2020-28.’ - Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2018, 95/100

‘Single-vineyard, classic style 2015 shows cool-climate purity, vibrancy in its blackcurrant, herbal & cedar notes. Youthful tautness suggests 10+ year maturation. The fruit is perfectly ripe & persists with delicious savoury length. Stylish 20% new oak trim.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2019, 4.5* (93/100)

‘Named for two blocks on the farm. Unmistakeably cool-climate, as perfumed intensity of fresh black fruits, compact build, bracing, steely but ripely firm grape tannins on 2016 reveal. Flavoursome & richly textured flesh brings whole into balance. Natural ferment in open oak vats; 21 months on lees in barriques, 25% new. Deserves years in bottle.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2020, 4.5* (94/100)

‘Vibrant mid-garnet colour. Pure nose of mature, cool-climate Cabernet – a herbaceous scent I do not encounter that often in this era of ever-warmer summers. There is some fruit here to counterbalance the acidity and some leafy aromas. Fresh, perfumed, sweet wine that's nicely in balance. Well done! Even if it's slightly skinnier than the Cabernet mainstream nowadays.’ – Jancis Robinson MW,, 16/20 (Nov 2020)

‘This attractive Hemel-en-Aarde Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulously dense and textured with multiple layers of creamy tannins coating the opulent fruit concentration. Full and glycerol in the mouth with refreshing acids, bright creme de cassis, black cherry and earthy baked plum fruit nuances. This vintage shows all the classic 2017 vintage elegance, focus and intensity with impressive mouthfeel and superb balance. You know this is something very special from the very first sip and certainly could be Craig Wessel’s finest Cabernet effort to date. Drink now and over 15+ years.’ – Greg Sherwood MW, 97/100 (Dec 2020)

‘Picked as late as May 7th in 2017 - surely the last in the country - this brilliant, cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon is a one-off. Leafy, pure and alluringly aromatic, it has a wonderful combination of freshness, depth and intensity, fine-boned tannins, fresh acidity and layers of cassis and black cherry flavour and complexity. The oak is expertly done. 2022-29’ - Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 95/100

‘From two cab blocks on the farm. 2017 riper than 2016 (4.5 stars, 94 pts) but beautifully proportioned, fresh & dry. There’s more flesh, succulence in the soft, dark-berried flavours, restrained by insistent grape tannins for lengthy maturation. Enticing cedar scents. French oak, 20% new, gives final polish.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2021, 5* (95/100)

‘A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from two single vineyards, namely Main Road (1.59 hectares) and Dignity (0.71 hectares) in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley matured for 23 months in 225 litre barriques with approximately 25% new oak. Located five kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir country, this exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon red continues to confound the sceptics. Coming from the last of the proper drought vintages, Craig Wessels has captured a wonderfully opulent and heady expression of Cabernet Sauvignon with plenty of exoticism and ripeness while never losing a certain feeling of classicism and elegance. Tasted over two days, the wine shows an impressive depth of black and blue berry fruits with initial notes of plum skins, pressed violets, wet leaves, sapidity and sweet cedar spice followed by tilled earth, salty black liquorice and cherry kirsch liquor nuances. On the palate the fruit depth is broad and plush with a dark cherry and black currant intensity, hints of graphite and iodine and finishing with a fine-grained mineral tannin grip and yet more salty liquorice notes. The 2018 vintage seems more Napa Valley than Stellenbosch / SA in style but certainly a very well honed, opulent expression. Drink this now and over the next 10 to 15 years.’ - Greg Sherwood MW, 95/100 (Sep 2022)

‘Extraordinary maritime cabernet from 2 blocks. Always a keeper, more so super-structured 2018 due to drought giving small, thick-skinned berries with little juice. Beautifully proportioned (as noted for 2017 (5 stars, 95 pts)), with considerable fruit charms, bone-dry finish. Oak, 25% new, adds cedar scent & final polish. Needs & deserves extended maturation. 14.5% alcohol.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2022, 4.5* (94/100)

‘Very much sui generis, this impressive Cabernet Sauvignon is a great wine to put into a blind tasting. Made with fruit from two single vineyards, it's youthful, stony, grippy and compact with considerable depth and intensity, fresh acidity, fine 20% new oak and inky damson and blackcurrant fruit. 2024-30’ - Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2021, 94/100


Wine Cellar Private Client

View all Restless River lots for sale in this auction

Other lots that might interest you
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay; 2018; 6 (1 x 6); 750ml
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay
2018; 6 (1 x 6) 750ml
ZAR 5 500 - 8 000
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay; 2017; 6 (1 x 6); 750ml
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay
2017; 6 (1 x 6) 750ml
ZAR 6 000 - 8 000
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay; 2017; 3 (1 x 3); 750ml
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay
2017; 3 (1 x 3) 750ml
ZAR 3 000 - 4 000
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay Vertical; 2013 - 2018; 6 (1 x 6); 750ml
Restless River; Ava Marie Chardonnay Vertical
2013 - 2018; 6 (1 x 6) 750ml
ZAR 7 000 - 10 000
Restless River; Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon; 2017; 6 (1 x 6); 750ml
Restless River; Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon
2017; 6 (1 x 6) 750ml
ZAR 6 000 - 8 000
Restless River; Main Road and Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon; 2016; 6 (1 x 6); 750ml
Restless River; Main Road and Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon
2016; 6 (1 x 6) 750ml
ZAR 6 000 - 8 000