Finding ourselves in the middle of winter, we look to our Sommelier Manuel Cabello for a little light at the end of the tunnel. Quick as a whip, he mentions International Cabernet Day as a cure for the winter blues. Held every year on the Thursday before US Labor Day, this year August 31st holds the title of International Cabernet Day.

To celebrate, Manuel has put together a list of his top 5 favourite (editor’s note: Manny hates choosing favourites) South African Cabernet’s – sourced from the Ellerman House wine list.


A class Helderberg Cabernet Sauvignon showing characteristic stone earthy tones with strong red berry fruit. The wine is elegantly structured with a typical tight and dry structure which finishes with great balance. The wine will age and develop harmoniously for 6 to 15 years.


From the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon shows a green edge of pepper and tomato leaf to the black plum and current core. Hints of licorice, bay leaf and sweet spice add depth and interest. It’s a well-balanced wine, with medium weight, firm but not too tight tannins and ample acidity.


From the heart of Constantia, this wine has a deep ruby red garnet. The nose shows great complexity with flavours of ripe black fruit, cassis, tomato leaf and cigar box. On palate, the wine shows great concentration and a firm tannin structure, supported by black fruit like black currant and hints of wood spice.


A premium wine in the Cederberg range. This wine has rich aromas of black currant and cassis, layered with decadent dark chocolate and cherry tobacco. A velvety texture that lingers on the palate with a distinct black currant after-taste. A ripe tannin structure from the grapes hanging up to 18 days longer in the vineyard, gives this wine the potential to mature for many years to come.


The Anthonij Rupert Wines Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine of real pedigree and a classic offering of this variety. The complex nose is lavished with notes of opulent fruitcake, tobacco leaf and cedar. The palate is similar – black cherry, cloves, cedar spice and nutmeg abound. Graceful and dignified, this red shows masterful intertwining of fruit and oak. It is commanding and immense in stature with remarkable depth and length on the palate.

Now that you have a little guidance, pair with the perfect winter meal for total satisfaction – may we recommend the Ellerman House Cape Malay Lamb Shoulder Curry recipe from Executive Chef Grant Daniels, perhaps?