4 ½ Stars 2020 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Offering astonishing value, plush 18 (92 pts) cab-shiraz (50/50) seduces with ripe dark fruit, dark chocolate, hints of licorice & smoke after year n oak, 15% American. More concentrated than 16, with slightly higher alcohol too (15%). No 17.
Fruit for this wine was hand-picked into 30lb crates with bunch selection done in the vineyard – then transferred to small open concrete tanks. Grapes were cooled to about 40 degrees F before cold soaking. Once temperature rose naturally to about 60 degrees, cultured yeast was added. Wild ferments with this style of wine are risky – hence cultured yeast option. Open tank punch downs were done gently, 3X daily for the duration of the ferment. Grapes were then pressed in an old 1 ton basket press. From there, the juice went straight to 300 liter barrels – mainly French and 2nd & 3rd fill primarily – for 1 year, during which time the wine was racked 2-3 times. Bottling is always unfined and very seldom filtered.
The 2018 Black Pearl Oro is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Shiraz and has an aromatic strawberry, redcurrant and sage bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, plush red fruit, and a distinctive fynbos character. Still young, this classy wine shows promise of development over the years to come.