The exclusive BOOK XVII brings the rare opportunity to savour an opulent wine, the most exceptional of South Africa’s Bordeaux-style blends. The release of its 10th vintage marks a decade of meticulous handcraftsmanship. It has been an exceptional ten years for the acclaimed BOOK XVII, with the 2019 vintage yielding the most spectacular and distinct vintage De Toren Private Cellar has produced yet.
To bid farewell to the end of a successful decade while embracing the next, the 2019 vintage is enrobed in stunning new packaging. This includes the redesign of its gift box, label, iconic key and wooden frame in which the wine is safekept, all elevating the release to even greater heights. BOOK XVII is ever in pursuit of the exceptional; the magnificent new packaging is a sumptuous hint at the pleasure within and the rich history behind it.
Like the wine itself, the label is bespoke and crafted by hand. It features an original illustration by renowned international artist Steven Noble, created using an ancient engraving technique and inspired by the narrative of BOOK XVII. Here, the labour-intensive age-old handicraft of Noble’s artistic medium echoes BOOK XVII’s own method of its creation, and is a nod to the ancient granite soil that supports the growth of De Toren’s hand-reared organic vines.
About two thousand years ago, Pliny the Elder wrote Book XVII on The Culture of the Vine – one of the first pieces of literature dedicated solely to wine and extreme viticulture methods. On the cover of this document, a Roman Eagle. And so, a drawing of an eagle commands the new label, bold, proud and victorious. A tribute to the ancient roots and knowledge in which De Toren’s BOOK XVII is grounded.
Upon closer inspection, intricate scenes unfold within this powerful master image. Together these delicate engravings tell the story behind BOOK XVII – the story of a remarkable wine, ancient writings, unique terroir, and the specially selected vines from which the wine is crafted.
Each meticulous detail of the label is a mirror of the intense attention to detail given to every step of the winemaking process. The seamless merging of one illustration into the next is a demonstration of the synergy of technology and tradition. Altogether, they tell the powerful tale of alchemy, the masterful science and devotion to balance, the finest fruit, exceptional terroir, and passion for winemaking.
The new label will make its debut on each of the limited-edition bottles – a mere 1142 units – that comprise the 2019 vintage. With De Toren’s reputation for exquisite craftsmanship preceding the release, already a full two thirds of the 2019 vintage have been reserved by longstanding pre-bookings.
This singular wine encompasses modern viticulture, bold winemaking and masterful experimentation with Bordeaux barriques. A harmonious evolution of De Toren’s acclaimed Bordeaux-styled blends, BOOK XVII is a lush, handcrafted red blend created to showcase the winemaking excellence that has confidently emerged from a South African cellar.
Indeed, BOOK XVII has fulfilled and exceeded its purpose, standing proudly among the world’s best. Acclaimed as ‘South Africa’s Most Luxurious Wine’, it is also the highest-ever rated South African wine by the US-based Wine Enthusiast, one of the world’s most influential voices on wine.
De Toren’s Head of Marketing and Distribution, Anja Bekker says: “From pioneering cellar techniques to precision viticulture, the wines of De Toren Private Cellar are marked by devotion to quality and ensuring the truth in the vine is told. Book XVII was born from a desire to craft one of the greatest wines in the world. This wine is the heirloom of years of winemaking in De Toren’s continuous quest for perfection and one of the finest ultra-premium wines to emerge from South Africa.”
The slightly cooler vintage of 2019 brought forth a phenomenal accumulation of flavour and tannins taking this acclaimed blend further in its remarkable concentration. It is the estate’s most extracted vintage ever with significant European characteristics yielding unique expression, clarity and beautiful integration. The ultra-luxurious BOOK XVII 2019 vintage exudes sophistication and opulence. It has a sumptuous crème de-cassis, fruitcake and fig scented bouquet with a full-bodied palate and silky-smooth tannin structure. It is a symphonic celebration of subtle elegance with bold characteristics.
BOOK XVII is born out of marrying making wine by hand with modern viticulture and viniculture technology. Using infra-red aerial imaging, De Toren identifies the vines of only the highest quality. These are then hand-pruned to carry only four to six bunches of perfect balance per vine. Meticulous manicuring is applied during the ripening process, followed by the gentle hand-harvesting and destemming of each bunch by the delicate and skilled hands of the very select team of female harvesters. If Pliny the Elder were alive today and were to write his famed treatise, he’d transcribe from De Toren’s approach.
The winemaking process culminates with the elegant new label. Each bottle of BOOK XVII is individually labelled and numbered by hand. To finish, this precious wine is carefully placed into a specially handcrafted and sealed wooden display case. An iconic key ensures the safekeeping of this rare collector’s item. With an ageing potential of 40 years plus, BOOK XVII promises optimal pleasure whether savoured upon purchase or kept for future enjoyment.
The optimal temperature to serve this wine is at 15 -18 degrees centigrade.
For optimum enjoyment, decant at least one hour before consumption.