Leeuwenkuil Cinsault 2014, produced from old dryland bushvine vineyards in the Swartland, was awarded the trophy for Best Niche Red Variety at the 2015 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show...
Cinsault, being resistant to heat and drought, thrives in hot, dry climates like the Rhône Valley and southern France. The grape has a long history in South Africa, mostly as a workhorse grape and blending partner to Cabernet, and was famously crossed with Pinot Noir in 1925 to create Pinotage. Scant attention has been paid to Cinsault over the past 20 years, but this stalwart grape of the South African wine industry is currently making a comeback, re-emerging as both a blending partner and single grape variety. The hotter, drier climate of the Swartland is well-suited to Rhône and Mediterranean grape varieties and many of the older Cinsault vines can be found in the Swartland region. As noted by Tim Atkin, UK wine journalist, in the December 2014 issue of Decanter Magazine: 'With the possible exception of Cinsault, Syrah is the most exciting variety in South Africa at the moment'.
Leeuwenkuil Cinsault 2014
- Vineyard: The oldest dryland bushvine vineyards were used as a source for this wine. The crop was reduced to one bunch per shoot to enhance grape quality.
- In the cellar: Grapes were picked at different sugar levels to ensure good balance. The wine was fermented on the skins with punch downs and pump overs as well as carbonic maceration (whole bunch fermentation) to retain up-front fruit and freshness. The wine was aged in 500L and 5000L French oak barrels for eight months.
- Drinkability: For the late-ripener that Cinsault is, the good rains during the 2014 harvest were a blessing. The easy ripening conditions led to an elegant and fruity wine. Drink now and age for another four years.
- Tasting notes: An elegant and velvety wine with good colour and concentration and fresh slightly herbal black fruit aromas. It displays lovely red berries and cherries, savoury black olives, spices and earthy notes on the palate and its beautifully polished tannins, with enough grip, make it a food friendly wine.
- Food pairing: Reduced bone marrow tomato pasta with black olives to give it a Mediterranean twist. Will also pair very well with shellfish, poultry, lamb and smoked meats.
- Approximate retail price: Available nationally at leading wine retailers for R100.