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Overview of the Wine
De Toren proprietors Emil and Sonette den Dulk left Johannesburg in 1991 to establish their vineyards in the Polkadraai Hills of Stellenbosch. Situated on southern facing slopes overlooking False Bay, De Toren enjoys the cooling effect of constant ocean breezes. Taking a holistic approach to keeping vineyard soils healthy and balanced, viticulturalist Ernest Manuel employs sustainable farming practices throughout the property. Infrared Aerial Imaging is used extensively in order to monitor ripeness in various vineyard blocks and determine optimal picking times, although actual harvesting and production are done almost entirely by hand.
The winery is operated on gravity flow principles; a 4000 liter pressure tank in an elevator shaft (the "Tower" from which the winery takes its name) is cleverly used to exploit gravity in transporting wine between tanks and barrels without the use of mechanical pumps. As a result of De Toren’s innovative, minimal intervention production methods, their wines were among the first South African bottlings to qualify for IP (Integrated Production) certification by the Wine and Spirit Board.
The Den Dulks and winemaker Albie Koch seem to have found the key to success with their simple winemaking philosophy: gentle handling, no pumps, and minimum manipulation. Armed with this winning formula, the boutique farm has quickly risen to the ranks of South Africa’s winemaking elite with their duo of dazzling, stylish and complex five-varietal Bordeaux blends: the flagship Fusion V (which debuted in the 1999 vintage and has been hailed by Wine Spectator as "a consistently polished, outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend") and the Merlot-based "Z," introduced with the 2004 vintage.
In 2018 upon Emil’s decision to take a step back, Daniel Mueller, Cedric Schweri, Albie Koch and Cape Estate became the majority owners.
De Toren has been in conversion to become Ecocert Certified Organic, with 2019 marking the third year of the three-year required transition period. The winery has always believed in sustainable farming but the more research they conducted on soil health the more they became certain that organic production was the best course forward to ensure long term well-being. This shift will help to progressively stimulate the soil’s health which in turn enables greater plant growth, increased immunity and self-protection to produce even more balanced and complex berries.
Grape / Blend
51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
The iconic Left Bank-based blend from De Toren, Fusion V is meticulously crafted from Bordeaux’s ‘Noble Five’ varietals and, with its complex flavors of licorice, black cherry, cedar and dark berries, it offers a stylish departure for sophisticated oenophilic tastes.Soft as spun silk, with a lingering hint of sweet fruit on the back palate, this is a wine that will only improve with age.
94 Points - Tim Atkin - MW
Showcasing the Cape’s ability to turn out great Left Bank-style blends is this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine from Stellenbosch’s De Toren Private Cellar. Fusion V, the boutique winery’s flagship label, takes its name for its selection of the best of Bordeaux’s ‘noble 5’ grape varieties that comprise the blend; 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. A rich and concentrated wine filled with mixed red and black berries, hints of dark chocolate and an oak-spiciness around the edges. It has a lovely smooth texture and is extremely drinkable. A great recommendation from one of the sommeliers at The Butcher Shop restaurant and deli in Cape Town, where it's also available to purchase. Drinking Window 2019 - 2029
93 Points - James Suckling
Mulberries, dark cherries, dried herbs, cedar and cloves on the nose. Full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins. Structured and compact. Still needs time. Sustainable. Drink from 2023.
91 Points - Wine Spectator
Sleek and focused, with notes of nutmeg gliding along, showing red currant and damson plum fruit mid palate. The tannins are very well-integrated. A touch of sanguine adds complexity on the finish. Harmonious. Drink now through 2025.
91 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Fusion V displays a deep ruby core and magenta rim. Giving up aromas of dusty plum, leather, dried tobacco, baked earth and black cherry skin, the nose is enticing, structured and delightful. Medium to full-bodied, the mouthfeel is still tight with the fruit components being front and center and should develop seductive tertiary expressions over the next five to eight years. With a balanced structure and buttressing tannic lift, the wine glides to an elongated finish that will show better with bottle age.
Product size: 750ml