Natte Valleij, Cinsault, Darling, South Africa, 2017
It’s been said that Cinsault is the best cultivar at expressing Terroir and winemaker Alex Milner first discovered it during a harvest in Provence, despite it once being South Africa’s most widely planted varietal. Despite the majority of what he was harvesting being destined to become rosé this encounter planted the seed for what would become his Cinsault Collective, the same grape grown in four different regions from old vines, each beautifully expressing its own unique terroir.
The Cinsault grapes used to produce the Darling expression are from the most isolated bush vines in the collective, a 40 year old vineyard planted on a lonely hill surrounded by wheat fields and too many gates to remember.
As with the Simonsberg-Paarl wine it receives 12 months in large 300L French barrels to preserve the purity of fruit. It is supple and harmonious with beautiful floral notes that perfect express the terroir. There are layers upon layers of of dense, delicious dark fruits complemented by an earthy quality and excellent tannic structure which demonstrates wonderful ageing potential.
Tim Atkin MW deemed this wine to be worth 94 points out of 100, the highest score within the collective, whilst Jancis Robinson also rated it highly with a score of 18/20.
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