Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve Old Vine Cinsault 2020

By , 17 March 2021

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In 2020, Rickety Bridge winemaker Donovan Ackermann made a Cinsault that went on to win a trophy at the South African Young Wine Show as the best from the Paarl/Wellington/Franschhoek area and so decided to make 300 bottles available to the cellar’s wine club.

Grapes are from a farm in Paarl called Otterkuil, the 2.65ha vineyard planted in 1954 and certified with the Old Vine Project. Of interest, Ackermann destemmed but then dried out about 5% of the left-overstems, adding this back into the tank at the beginning of fermentation with a view to achieving more perfumed aromatics. Maturation, meanwhile, took place in older oak for some six to eight months. Total production was 14 225-litre barrels but only the best individual barrel was bottled.

It’s an ethereal and enchanting rendition of the variety. The nose shows subtle notes of cherry, red currant, rose and fynbos while the palate has lovely fruit integrity and flavour intensity without being weighty (alcohol is 13.03%). It’s a wonderfully balanced wine with bright acidity and fine, powdery tannins, the finish nicely dry – another great argument for the preservation of old vines. Price: R450 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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