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Cinsault   |   Darling - South Africa


Throughout the rest of the world this wine is known as ‘Zeitgeist’ but in the US Francois was forced to rename it ‘Hinterland.’ The ‘hinterland’ is an uncharted area beyond a coastal district. It is quite applicable here seeing as the sleepy town is less than ten miles from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the vast area of fields of the western Swartland. Cinsault has found its spiritual home in Darling. Here the late Boetie Van Reenen, who passed away much too young at age 37 in 2017 (he was born the year the Cinsault block was planted), farmed an insane site that has since been taken care of by various family members and employees. Boetie was responsible for these much-coveted Cinsault vines that have drawn the likes of many of the biggest names in the South African wine community. The dry-farmed, bushvine Cinsault gaining cool breezes from the nearby ocean coupled with just enough warm sun to intensify the grapes a bit really speaks of the koffieklip riddled granitic soils. There is a freshness and precision rarely seen with Cinsault and the pH stays low enough where whole-clusters can be used.

The hand-harvested fruit was from two rows in the middle of the hill and was transported back to Francois’ winery to cold soak overnight. Fermentation was done in two one-ton fermenters with one being two-thirds whole-clusters on the bottom and destemmed fruit on top and the other being half and half destemmed and whole-cluster fruit with the clusters on top. A fair bit of hand plunging ensued over the first few days to really get the fermentation going and then basically left alone. After ten days the wine was dry enough to press and send with the fine lees to a 9hL nomblot concrete egg for aging. After 11 months the wine was bottled directly from the egg off of the lees hit with a small addition of sulfur but no other adjustments were made.


  • Grapes: 100% Cinsault
  • Vineyard: Boetie Farm
  • Vine Age: 38-years-old
  • Soil Type: Iron-rich granitic soils with alluvial wash
  • Viticulture: Sustainable – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – 1 ton open-top stainless-steel fermenters, 60% whole-cluster
  • Skin Contact: 10 days
  • Aging: 11 months in a single 9hL concrete egg
  • pH: 3.68
  • Total Acidity: 4.9 g/L
  • Total SO2: 38 ppm
  • Total Production: 100 cases
  • UPC: 6009879826210

Tasting Note

This is an intense, floral, unwooded delight with a spine of minerality. Aromas of pomegranate, wild strawberry, pale blueberries and lightly crushed violets. The palate has marked acidity that really brings the pomegranate note back along with a bit of blood orange zest but still a supple, silky mouthfeel. It is delineated and pure and certain to please varying palates and shows the ability to age for well over a decade.

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