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Thistle & Weed

2020

‘Nastergal’

Red Blend   |   Western Cape - South Africa

About

Night falls and black nightshade (aka Nastergal) blooms, its berries ripen to inky black. Nastergal is a blend primarily made up of Tempranillo sourced from Wellington, which is a revered variety originating from the Iberian Peninsula. This grape provides backbone and matches well with the rustic Alicante Bouschet. Alicante is a teinturier variety meaning it has red flesh as well as red skin unlike most red varieties which only have red skin, translating to an inky blackness. It is this unique characteristic of Alicante that inspired the wine to be named Nastergal (Black Nightshade) reminiscent of the dark berries of this common weed. Previous vintages of this wine were just Tempranillo and Alicante Bouschet, but in 2020, Stephanie and Etienne decided to branch out with other Portuguese varieties, including Tinta Francesca, Touriga Nacional, and Souzao. Touriga Nacional is particularly revered in the viticulture community for being a grape well adapted to warmer climates, and thus, a variety that would fare well in the face of climate change.

The winemaking is kept modest and straightforward to allow the combination of cultivars and site to express itself. The grapes were sorted, fermented separately and without any additions in open top fermenters. Routine punchdowns brought a gentle extraction of color and tannin. The grapes were gently pressed after 18 days on skins and drained to barrel for malolactic fermentation. The grapes matured separately in mainly old French oak barrels (6% new) for 12 months before blending. It was bottled without fining or filtration and with a small addition of sulfur dioxide.

Stats

  • Grapes: 56% Tempranillo - 11% Alicante Bouschet - 11% Tinta Francesca - 10% Touriga Nacional - 6% Souzao - 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyard: Wellington (Tempranillo) - Stellenbosch (all other grapes)
  • Vine Age: 10-25 years-old
  • Soil Type: Various - majority deep, red, shale & granitic derived clay-loam
  • Viticulture: Sustainable
  • Fermentation: Native – one-ton open-top stainless-steel
  • Skin Contact: 18 days
  • Aging: 12 months in old French oak
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • pH: 3.56
  • Total Acidity: 5 g/L
  • Total SO2: 100 ppm
  • Total Production: 333 cases
  • UPC: 700083698841

Tasting Note

Inky black with aromas of vibrant plum and blueberries coexisting with intense spices, and black pepper on the nose. The palate is moreish, brimming with berry flavors and robust tannins.

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