96 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
“We’re doing an enormous amount of work in the vineyard to recuperate it,” says Eben Sadie of his beloved Tinta Barocca, “and trying to extract less in the winery.” Showing its classic grip and tannins, this has damson, liquorice and tar-like flavours and aromas, appealingly rustic tannins and the structure to age. Nebbiolo meets Syrah. 2023-32
This vineyard is located next to the old railway line (treinspoor) and was named accordingly. The very fragile, thin skin of Tinta Barocca is prone to sunburn, but in this case the old bush vines have formed a great framework to keep the bunches sheltered from the intense Swartland sun. Tinta Barocca has the textural nature of the Nebbiolo grape and the aromatic orientation of Syrah – a great combination. It produces wines of great character and expression that are built to last. The grapes are fermented with 50% whole clusters and 50% being destemmed and the fermentation is left for about 25 – 30 days prior to being pressed in an old basket press. Only bucket overs are done in the fermentation for it is very easy to over-extract Tinta Barocca since the grapes hold an abundance of tannins.
Tinta Barocca is a grape that carries the soil into the bottle, it is a great communicator of terroir. The grape has had a longstanding relationship with the Swartland and the spicy herbal aromatics and dark purple plum like fruit carries over into a very tight and compressed core of the wine. As mentioned before the tannins of Tinta Barocca have very much the same behaviour as those of Nebbiolo and proper ageing is required.
Treinspoor 2020 is the result of 10 years of working the golden threads we could read in the makeup of this variety. The spicy, mineral, graphite and earthy characteristics are flowing into a river of tannins and textures and this wine has almost no start nor any end.
We urge you to age this wine, have one bottle if an emergency is imminent but leave the latter of the case for the next decade of fine wine drinking. Tinta Barocca has a big temperament and needs big temperament ownership.
Swartland – Malmesbury
Tinta Barrocca / Tinta Das Baroccas (South African synonym)
12 months old foudre
Alluvial Plain – Sandstone, Granite and Quartz Formations
Yield 28 hl/ha
Alcohol 13 %
Residual Sugar 1,5 g/L
Total Acidity 5,7 g/L
Total Sulphur 73 mg/L