Natte Valleij, Cinsault, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2018
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 different regions from old vines, each beautifully expressing its own unique terroir.
These 46 year old bush vines are planted on rising ground in the shadows of the Helderberg Mountain. Grown in decomposed granite and facing Westwards towards False Bay, a mere 7km away. The vineyard is the closest we have to the sea and it is this maritime influence that really sets it apart from anything else we have. Affectionately call the ballerina in the cellar, because of its bright energy and gracefulness, it is certainly deserving of being bottled as a single vineyard wine. Matured for 11 months in concrete egg to maintain that purity, energy and poise, so obviously to this site.
Tim Atkin MW deemed this wine to be worthy 94 points out of 100, the highest rating yet for this particular wine in his annual special report on South Africa.
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