Waterkloof Wine Estate is situated on the outskirts of Somerset West and within a spectacular amphitheatre of vineyards, fynbos and mountains. Its environmentally sensitive approach to farming, honest wines, top rated restaurant in SA and striking cellar design are pillars of its reputation. It is here that the False Bay Vineyards Revenant 2017 is made.
Before the Wine of Origin Legislation came into being in the early 1970s, many of the great, long-lived Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignons conspired over a secret ingredient, Cinsault. Cinsault was hidden within the wines without mention on the label, lending elegance and perfume to these Cape classics. Many of the famous previous generation of winemakers made great wines in this way, some of them even co-pressing the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsaut. “The red variety for which Stellenbosch is famous is Cabernet Sauvignon. What most people don’t know though, is that Cinsault used to play a major role in many well-known South African Cabernet Sauvignon-based red blends,” says winemaker Nadia Barnard-Langenegger. “These elegant wines inspired us to create our revitalised rendition of a quality blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault.”
The Revenant Red 2017 celebrates the glorious rebirth of a South African classic. The Cinsault grapes originate from a bush vine block that is approximately 35 to 40 years old. It is situated about eight kilometres from the ocean and produces very low yields due to its age and because it is unirrigated.
The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards also overlook False Bay and are 10 to 15 years old. Various blocks were used – some approximately 250m above sea-level and some lower down. The grapes were de-stemmed and slow fermented, using the natural yeast from the vineyard. The fermenting mash received two punch-downs or pump-overs per day to avoid over extraction. The Cinsault underwent three-day, whole-bunch carbonic fermentation after which it was foot-stomped twice daily, to gently extract only the finest juice over a longer period. The two varieties were aged separately for nine months; the Cinsault in older 600L barrels and the Cabernet Sauvignon in 225L barrels with no new oak. The wine was then blended to older 600L barrels and matured for another year before bottling. The wines are un-fined, only receiving a basic filtration prior to bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label shows a phoenix rising from the ashes on a yellow background. A revenant is one who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead, like a pheonix too. In the glass, it is a gem bright bloodplum at the heart and it pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. The aromas are of red fruit, plums, dark chocolate are followed on the entry and palate with a generous mid-palate and the soft tannins, the oak and its concomitant spices are all beautifully interwoven in a harmonious pleasing long ending. Delicious glass, even better when slightly chilled.
Do chill this for at least 30 minutes in the fridge or in an ice bucket. It is the perfect sundown sipper which could follow into a meal. If you love liver, like I do, means that you will enjoy Nina Timm’s Fried Liver with Rich Onion Gravy. Click here for her recipe.
For more information about Waterkloof visit www.waterkloofwines.co.za
Information from Random Hat Communications