Alex Milner of Natte Valleij in Stellenbosch is one of the new wave winemakers who’s championing Cinsault. He relates that he first worked with it in Domaine de Trienne in Provence, France and says “It impressed me there causing me to wonder why it was so widely planted in SA but so little was done with it”.
Most recently he released a Cinsault Collective from the 2015, bottlings from four different regions and then he also made up a blend, the components as follows 36% from a 1986 Malmesburg vineyard, 24% from a 1974 Stellenbosch vineyard, 24% from a 1978 Darling vineyard and 16% from a 1996 Simonsberg Paarl vineyard. Fermentation involves the inclusion of stalks as well as some whole bunch, the wine matured for 12 months in a combination of old oak and concrete egg.
The nose shows some floral perfume before wild strawberries, cherries and plums as well as spice and a little earthiness. The palate is neither too light nor too weighty – it’s a really interesting interpretation of the variety being very much about fruit expression rather than structure, the tannins being particularly soft. This is not to say it’s a frivolous wine – on the contrary, it makes for a characterful and appealing drop and suggests that the variety might still have its day. Price: R120.
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