HARVEST & VINTAGE NOTES
Cinsault was an obvious candidate for inclusion in the Old Vine Series, although it poses many quality problems in the vineyard and cellar, including the difficulty of keeping yields down, attaining perfect ripeness, and its oxidative character. There were 5 vineyards considered, but the block on the
Kasteelberg Mountain was far above the rest in quality (the snakelike form of the mountain gave the wine its name). The vines were planted in 1973. After picking, careful sorting is vital to get rid of both under-ripe and over-ripe berries. Whole clusters are placed in an old wooden open-top fermenter, with 1 or 2 punchdowns
by foot each day to release juice for fermentation. After a month on the skins the grapes are transferred by hand into a tiny basket press and pressed directly to an old
wooden cask. The wine is bottled after a year or so, to retain the elegance of the fruit and avoid any premature oxidation.
Cinsaut has a very thin skin and is prone to sunburn, so we opted to pick slightly earlier and ended up picking this vintage very fresh on a first impression, but the resulting wine still ended up with 13.5% alc and did gain the needed volume and mid-palate weight. It is very bright and has super red fruit and a linear, very strict character— like being on a tightrope. It follows through with amazing texture and firm tannins. Unfined and unfiltered. Decanting recommended.