Anthology Wines Secures Top Spot in 2023 Cabernet Franc Challenge

Anthology Cabernet Franc 2020 was crowned the overall winner of the 8th Cobie van Oort Cabernet Franc Challenge for 2023.

The top six wines were exceptionally close with the scoring by our three esteemed judges, and there were just 0.33 points separating the winner and the runner-up.

In alphabetical order, the top six wines are Anthology Cabernet Franc 2020, Lynx Cabernet Franc 2020, Morgenster Cabernet Franc 2021, Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2020, Ridgeback Cabernet Franc 2020, and Zorgvliet Cabernet Franc 2020. Five of the six winning wines are from the 2020 vintage.

The top three Cabernet Franc-based blends, in alphabetical order, are Delaire Graff The Banghoek 2018, Mitre’s Edge The Mitre 2019, and Raats Jasper Red Blend 2020.

The Vintage winner was the My Wyn Cabernet Franc 2009, with the Best Value winner being the Landskroon Paul Hugo Red 2021.

The three seasoned judges for this year’s blind tasting were Cape Wine Master Lizette Tolken (as chairperson), the award-winning wine writer and Platter’s taster Malu Lambert, and Nomande Khubeka, winemaker and Pinotage Youth Development Academy facilitator. Glasses are numbered and all the covered wines poured before the judges enter the tasting area with no discussion allowed during the process.

The panel was impressed by the exceptional quality across the board and the focus the wines displayed. Oak was used judiciously, hardly any of the wines showed undesirable stalky greenness and aggressive tannins, and the wines generally had wonderful typicity and accessibility. They were elegant and lithe, and this clearly reflected in the scores, with 8 wines being only one to one-and-a-half percentage points away from a Top 6 score. The judges loved the wines for its classic aromas, its typical medium-high acidity, silkiness, and the mouth-watering taste, and this reflected in the judges’ scores”, says chairperson Lizette Tolken.

Lovers of this varietal, and anybody not familiar with it in the pure form as opposed to being part of a Bordeaux-style blend, should make their way to the fifth Cabernet Franc Carnival on Saturday 27 May. The carnival is taking place at Vrede en Lust Wine Farm from 11h00 – 16h00, when approximately 30 wines made from Cabernet Franc in a variety of styles, including rosé, will be available for tasting. Most of the winning wines from the Cabernet Franc Challenge will also be available for tasting.

Tickets are available through Quicket via and cost R350 per person which includes entry to the Carnival, parking, a branded crystal wine glass, live music, and a R60 food voucher.

For more information about the Challenge or the Carnival, contact Björn van Oort from CVO Marketing at 084 511 1806. Follow the Cab Franc Carnival Facebook page at