Cinsaut, or Cinsault as some will have it is a grape from Provence and the Midi which was first planted at the Cape in the middle of the 19th century and by 1980 accounted for 13% of the Cape Vineyard, making it the most planted red wine grape in the Cape. It has also found a home in Morocco, Tunisia and the Middle East, Italy and Australia. A parent grape of Pinotage, the grape was known in colloquial language as Hermi-take, but of course the last four letters in Pinotage owe their presence to Hermitage as the grape was previously known.
In the mid 20th Century, Cinsault was part of one of the Cape’s iconic wines, the Rustenberg Red, made by the legendary Reggie Nicholson. At the time, one of the most serious Cinsaults was made by Paul de Villiers IV of Landskroon Estate. If grown as a bush vine, which most of them were, the produced low yields from larger than other red wine grapes. This higher juice to skin ration leads to problems with colour extraction which gives Cinsaut a lovely cherry glow in the bottle.
Perdeberg The Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2014 is a shining example of a dry land expression of this grape by Albertus Louw, Cellarmaster. When one is used to drinking more heavy bodied wine drinking Cinsault, slightly chilled at midday with appropriate food is a joy.
It looks like
Bottled in a Burgundy shaped bottle under natural cork. The label is in a fairly new design, elegant and serious. In the glass the wine is a translucent cherry red at the core which pales out to crimson garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Fresh red fruits, strawberries and a touch of soft ripened prune.
It tastes like
Soft smooth and round – low tannins. A generosity of red berries and plums in the mid palate and in the satisfying aftertaste.
It’s good with
Do chill it for about 30 minutes before serving and keep an ice bucket handy during a meal. It is a lovely wine to drink before a meal, especially if you start the meal off with a large platter of Italian bits and bobs. The Perdeberg The Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2014 will go with the charcuterie, the olives, the little artichoke hearts, the mostarda and a lovely rich soft Gorgonzola. And if you are close by Lodine Maske of Fromages de France in Main Road Franschhoek has the best Gorgonzola I have ever tasted.
But for the real joy of this wine, you must experience the Perdeberg Winter Picnic – a fabulous tray for two with genuine well-prepared dishes. Anything from smoked salmon and cream cheese pancakes, to chicken curry with Naan breads, enchanting little chicken and mushroom pot pies with the lightest dream of puff pastry on top, a little basket of pakoras with a dipping sauce, and a golden topped sugar crunchy Crème Brûlée. We were very impressed by the quality and standard of the food. You can also make yourself a delicious antipasto platter like the one illustrated below.
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