The reason Cinsaut is enjoying such a resurgence right now is that it provides a welcome counterpoint to the wines of weight and power which held sway until not so long ago. I do wonder, however, if the variety has the inherent complexity to deliver greatness regularly and on a wide scale – it has been planted here since the middle of the 19th century and was at one point the country’s most planted grape occupying nearly a third of the national vineyard but even so has largely failed to capture the world’s imagination in any major way.
The 2014 vintage of Cinsaut as made by Francois Haasbroek with grapes from a prized Darling vineyard under his Blackwater label impressed enormously (see here) but the follow-up 2015, while very likeable, is not quite in the same league. The nose shows red cherry, pomegranate and some floral character while the palate is sweet fruited with moderate acidity and quite soft tannins – the tension and detail which the 2014 possessed seems to be missing. Approximate retail price: R210 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
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