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Leeu Passant Basson Cinsault 2017

Leeu Passant Basson Cinsault 2017

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"From South Africa's oldest registered red-wine vineyard, a parcel of dry-farmed bush-vine Cinsault planted in 1900 in the deep sandy alluvial soils of Wellington. Grapes were hand-harvested early on 9 February 2017. Yield averaged just 18 hl/ha. The cool grapes are crushed and destemmed into tank, with 100% whole clusters. Minimal SO2 is the only addition. As usual for this producer, 'fermentation begins without inoculation'. The wine is punched down twice a day. Temperatures kept at 26 °C. Fermentation lasted 11 days. After fermentation, three weeks' skin contact. The wine was then drained and pressed to barrel. The wine was racked and blended mid-way through the year and bottled after 20 months in barrel. Just 150 cases made.

Transparent dark ruby. Pale rim. Complex nose suggestive of burnt warm stones  more mineral than fruity. Round fruit with a tangy finish and real undertow. Like the Franschhoek 2018 Cinsault, this is hugely distinctive. Brûlée impression and tastes more than a year older than the 2018 Cinsault from Franschhoek. A certain leatheriness of both flavour and texture. Quite mature. Drink: 2019-2024. 16.5 points"

Jancis Robinson, (05/20)