Ataraxia Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2020

By , 26 August 2022

For most red wines, the first stage of winemaking is to separate the grape berries from the stems. Include stems, however, and it can round out wines from a high acid vintage or provide freshness in a high ripeness vintage.

In the case of his 2020 vintage of Pinot Noir, Kevin Grant from Ataraxia in Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge has opted to ferment 100% whole-bunch and the result is terrific. Matured for 11 months in 225-litre barrels of which 25% were new, the wine shows haunting aromatics of red and black berries, floral perfume, tea leaf and a hint of fresh herbs while the palate has a great core of fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins. It’s pure and balanced with a remarkably delicate texture – some whole-bunch wines can appear a little rustic but not this. Price: R580 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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