Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut 2018 is the first in my series of #SaveSAwine reviews. You can read in detail why you should buy South African wine to #SaveSAwine here. To summarise, the South African wine trade is in existential peril because of extreme prohibition laws in their home country.
We can help #SaveSAwine by buying as much as we can to increase demand for exports, and so I am currently largely reviewing good South African wines in order to guide you to South African wines that will not disappoint. Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut 2018 is one such wine.
With South African wine you really know if you are getting old vine wines. The winery has to demonstrate when the vines were planted in order to be able to claim an old vines sticker for the neck label. As you you can see on the right these vines are properly old being planted in 1954.
At the time of harvest these vines were 64 years old – that is a properly old vineyard and it is worth paying a premium for wine made from vines of such an age.
Old vines also tend to produce low yields. This is good because it means all the effort the vine is putting into making grapes is concentrated into just a few bunches and this higher quality fruit produces better wine.
Your can see on the label on the picture of the bottle below that only 3,300 bottles of Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut were produced (I had number 1,004). This is about ten barrels of wine which is a small production run. If you like the sound of the note you should grab some sharpish as there is not much to go around!
As I usually do for young South African wines I double decanted this Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut two hours before drinking it and my little taste when I first popped the bottle showed this was the correct course of action. So now I have waited two hours it is time to analyse, appraise and assess my glassful before drinking the rest with dinner!
Wow, what a melange of delicious, complex scents that all seem to to exist in delectable sympathy with each other. The term ‘impressive’ can often be used in a negative manner, but the delightful set of aromas on the nose of this Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut are impressive in a most charming and sensual manner.
The first set of aromas the Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut presents are profoundly deep fruit and floral scents. They are similar to raspberries, redcurrants, rose petals – indeed a heady mixture of flowery characteristics – all of which are bright, lively and fresh.
Freddie Mugnier says it is a terrible thing to say a wine is concentrated. Well, he can get stuffed! This Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut had the ultra-concentrated character of water-stressed, low-yielding, old vines that have tried their hardest to produce grapes of the very highest quality. Just smelling the fruit here leaves a effulgently positive impression on one’s mind.
There is more. This is powerfully herbal. A mixture of thyme, rosemary and lavender all swirl around with the fruity/floral characteristics and leave an impression that this Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut is very complex and positively pulses with vibrancy and dimension.
I say above that this must have been about ten barrels worth of wine, I suspect very few of them were new. Good! The fruit, herbs and its strong earthy aspect communicate directly with your olfactory centres without any new oak vanillin getting in the way. I also approve of its booze quotient of 13%. Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut has all that sweet, delightful fruit without the need for a sickly, jammy turbo-charge of being over-ripe and too alcoholic.
The tough tannins I noticed on my pre-decant taste of the Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut have been ameliorated by exposure to air and, whilst it has a rigorous structure, it is not over-extracted and going to turn your mouth into the leather core of a hiking boot.
The acidity is fresh and lively, as one would hope for on a wine so young. This makes the fruit flavours that abound on the palate of this Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut really vivacious and perfectly ripe. As well as the fruit flavours there are also the floral characteristics on the palate and they are far more delicious and indulgent than one might expect the taste of flowers to be!
There is real energy and life to the Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut’s palate, and the huge depth of flavour it shows would suggest it might age for a long time. It probably would and if you like mature wines you could come back to this Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut after about ten years in your cellar and not be disappointed.
However, if I were you I would buy it, decant it and drink it – Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut is quite the fun, fizzing ball of excitement and ravishing pleasure now. We all need a bit of ravishment, at least that is not banned under lockdown rules, so what is not to enjoy?
Go for it, boys and girls! Let this wine lead you on a trip of sensual, complex pleasures that really delight. Roodekrantz 1954 Vines Cinsaut is properly good wine that is well worth buying especially as doing so will help #SaveSAwine!
Buy from Edgmond Wines – this is a new supplier of South African wine to me. My agent in South Africa, the wonderful Keith, knows the owner and he highly recommends some of the Chenin Blanc wines – naturally I had only procured red wines by the time I had learned this intelligence. Contact the owner Preet, to ask which Chenins will suit your palate best. This seems a good source of South African wine to me.