STRANGE KOMPANJIE UNLIMITED COASTAL REGION, SOUTH AFRICA
14% | Screwcap
Cinsault 95% , Cabernet Franc 5%
The thing about owning a mountain is the fact that it’s a piece of the earth’s mantle. Wildeberg is Boutinot South Africa’s home, their hearth, their fire place … and they are quite clearly stuck on the side of the earth’s crust there on that magnificent mountain in Franschhoek. Wildeberg is belittlingly dramatic in scale and it is this scale that they try to apply to this small, pretty wine. The label pays homage to the unique, ever-shifting soils and slopes of South Africa’s Cape mountains, formed over aeons of geological time. It illustrates the drygrown, bush-vines of the Cinsault cultivar farmed here, where their roots dig deep into the Earth's layers foraging for sustenance in these harsh conditions.
Cinsault has bewilderingly been overlooked in the Cape for too long but is a grape variety Boutinot have proudly been championing for years - so it's great that this voice of the Cape's cool Atlantic vineyards is finally finding favour with wine drinkers. The 35-40 year old, dry-grown, Cinsault bushvines are grown on Paarl’s deep sandy loams where only the fittest of the fit survive these harsh, dry growing conditions. Due to the age of the vines, yields are naturally restricted and very little crop control is required in these unirrigated vineyards. The climate is perfect for viticulture with the low rainfall in summer months, tempered by cool Atlantic afternoon breezes, and the cold winters allowing the vines to rest and build up reserves. All grapes are picked by hand at optimal phenolic ripeness (polyphenols are the source of wine's colour, flavour and mouthfeel), followed by a fermentation using delestage, a process whereby the juice is racked off and pumped back over the cap, facilitating the extraction of colour and flavour. This process along with being stored in older 500lt French oak barrels to gently shape the wine further, oxygenates the wine which reduces tannin concentration and boosts esters, key compounds that allow the fruit characters to be expressed. Along with the Cinsault, they've added around 5% Franschhoek Cabernet Franc which releases a subtle fragrant herbal notes, minerality and freshness, along with a tiny blob of Swartland Malbec for its smooth lushness. The result is a wine full of lovely juiciness in which ripe red fruit dominates.