Wine of the Week 24: Bruce Jack Ghost in the Machine Cabernet Franc 2022

Bruce Jack Cabernet Franc Winemaker

A creative red from two immaculate mountain vineyards.

“The whole point of the Ghost in the Machine range is to produce hipster wine, at a fraction of the price, still of excellent quality – and you don’t need a mermaid tattoo or a beard to do so,” quips Bruce Jack.

A creative offering

Bruce Jack Cabernet Franc Vineyards

The well-known producer and storyteller created the range as an antidote to the surge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) currently dominating the creative landscape. “The ghost in the machine is the human imagination,” explains Jack.

To further outwit AI, Jack has purposefully created labels that AI will have trouble recognising if scanned. “Every single bottle has a different label. There is nothing in the world of product packaging like this,” says Jack. The labels come in three parts, which in the application never line up. He sets the labelling machine so that the strips are placed randomly.

A unique story

There are six experimental wines in the range and, as well as being completely unique, each label also tells a story of a cause close to Jack’s heart. The cab franc depicts a dystopian scene calling up the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease. His uncle was a sufferer, and “he was a very important person in my life”.

When asked about the future of the variety on Cape soils Jack says: “We should be throwing ourselves at cab franc! It has always been one of  the most exciting varieties in South Africa, a grape we can really get behind. Whereas our merlots can be a little flabby, cab franc when planted in the right place sings.”

Bruce Jack Ghost in the Machine Cabernet Franc 2022

Bruce Jack Cabernet Franc

The 2022 is a blend of cabernet franc grown on the Wildepaardekloof, near Ashton (also the home of Jack’s Mary le Bow wines) and a special site on the Helderberg, as well as an inking, violet-infusing portion of petit verdot. Its pure-fruited generosity of red and black berries is painted with floral perfume and a stony freshness. The fruit is deeper, more sultry on the palate with a satisfying undertow of black cherry pip. Fourteen months in old oak for the satiny smooth tannins is complemented by a bright acidity.
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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 13 March 2024