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Craven

2021

Cinsaut

Stellenbosch - South Africa

About

Mick & Jeanine are thankful to continue with this vineyard they have worked with since 2017 called ‘Rustenhof.’ This great farm in the Faure area has an abundance of lovely Cinsault, amongst many other varieties and Pieter Bredell, with Jeanine’s assistance and direction, farms it with great care. The block the Cravens use is a dryland, bush-vine block, only three miles from the ocean and essentially planted on granitic sand, suiting their winemaking style nicely. Mick emphasizes the massive difference in this vineyard since the 2017 vintage as the Cravens along with Pieter’s son, Bernhard, have been farming it organically and getting as much nutrient matter into the vineyard with use of winter cover crops and chicken manure.  The 2021 wine is a brilliant result of the hard work put into the vineyard. Keeping in line with previous releases and straying from the other reds the Cravens make, the Cinsault grapes are destemmed before fermentation due to the natural low acidity and higher pH compared to other red varieties.

The fruit was hand-harvested and fully destemmed then placed into open-top plastic fermenters and a few concrete tanks.  Gentle pumpovers and light punch downs are performed 1- 2 times a day throughout fermentation, and the resulting wine was pressed after a little more than a week back to concrete tanks with about 20% of the total volume going to old 500L barrels for maturation. It is bottled slightly earlier than their other red wines in an effort to express the fresher, brighter characters of Cinsault, so after five months the lots were racked to tank to settle naturally and bottled unfined and unfiltered, and with a small hit of sulfur at bottling.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Cinsault
  • Vineyard: Rustenhof Vineyard (Faure Sub-Region)
  • Vine Age: 33-years-old
  • Soil Type: Granitic sand
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless-steel (100% destemmed, whole-berry)
  • Skin Contact: 11 days
  • Aging: 5 months in 80% concrete tanks and 20% neutral 500L French tonneau
  • Alcohol: 12.09%
  • pH: 3.55
  • Total Acidity: 5.2 g/L
  • Total SO2: 45 ppm
  • Total Production: 750 cases
  • UPC: 6009803564454

Tasting Note

This has a delicate cranberry and pomegranate bouquet with a bit of a rhubarb and bay leaf emerging with air.  The transparency and delineation of aromas and flavors is really special.  The palate is more intense than previous vintages, but not in a loud way.  It offers red berries, black currants, rooibos tea, and a touch of white pepper and a saline element.  The finish is precise and yet welcoming with chalky-edged tannins that linger.

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