96 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
Like Soldaat, Pofadder was fermented with fewer whole bunches in 2020, giving the wine more fruit purity and focus. Beautifully framed and complete, it’s an old-vine Cinsault that combines focus with depth. Black cherry, raspberry and sweet spice notes play out across the palate with a lovely stony undertone. 2022-30
In the late 19th century, and much of the 20th, Cinsault was the workhorse red variety that played an undeclared role in some great red blends. It was an obvious candidate for inclusion in any historical edition of wine, although it poses many challenges in the vineyard as well as in the cellar, including the difficulty of keeping yields down and attaining perfect ripeness, plus its very oxidative character. Simply put: one has to tread very carefully with all aspects of the cultivation and the production of Cinsaut but it does come with great reward if all is in check.
We basically fill the concrete tanks whole cluster to about 50% and then destem 50% to get some juice in the tank to have the initiation of fermentation. The fermentation is for about 30 days on the skins and then we press the grapes in an old basket press.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Cinsaut is the depth of texture and the load of tannin that this big berry grape holds, for as a norm one will expect this level of depth and texture and tannin on the smaller, berries varietals – but Cinsaut is a complete enigma in this regard. The wine may hold massive volumes of bright-red fruit and lifted aromatics; and upon smelling the wine the expectation is that it would be very soft on the pallet – but then firm tannins are met.
In 2020 we decided to reduce the percentage of whole cluster bunches in the fermentation to 50% on the Pofadder vineyard as well. As is the case with the Soldaat the massive pickup of potassium and pH climb is just not in the interest of a distant future and tasting this 2020 Pofadder we firmly believe that it is easily one of the best we have ever bottled; and the overall equilibrium is just on another level altogether. The wine has immense purity of fruit and brightness but the layering of the tannins in the texture and the overall balance are in another class. This vineyard in 2020 is honestly in another dimension altogether.
Swartland – Riebeeksrivier
Cinsaut / Hermityk (South African synonym)
12 months old foudre
Iron Rich Slate Formations and decompositions thereof
Yield 30 hl/ha
Residual Sugar 1,4 g/L
Total Acidity 5,7 g/L
Total Sulphur 64 mg/L