Energetic Cinsault - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Energetic Cinsault

Owners/Winemakers Chris and Andrew Mullineux with partner Analjit Singh (Courtesy of Skurnik Wines)

The Mullineuxs hire a security detail to patrol this vineyard from veraison to harvest—it runs up to the highway, and hungry schoolkids might reach over and have a nibble on fruit from some of the oldest vines in South Africa. Cinsault’s favored as a table grape as well: in 2016, a passing truck harvested most of the block to be sold—the Mullineuxs believe—at a local grocery, leaving only two barrels’ worth for the winemakers. Planted in 1900 in the alluvial plain of the Wellington Mountains, this parcel has been managed by the Mullineuxs since 2014. Chris has dug 8 feet down without hitting bedrock; based on the strength of the roots at that depth, he estimates the topsoil might go as far as 30 feet deep. He credits those deep, poor soils for the vineyard’s survival, as “the deep and healthy root systems they built over their first 30 to 40 years now buffer the vines from warm and dry spells so they are incredibly balanced and consistent, even through really challenging years.” The vines deliver a wine with pretty cherry fruit energized by bright acidity and broad, sticky tannins. Though its flavors are cinsault-light, there’s intensity in their tenor while its fully whole-cluster fermentation added a faint earthy savor to the edges of the wine. Decant it before serving with pork tenderloin.


Leeu Passant 2020 Wellington Old Vines Basson Cinsault

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Corey Warren is the Tastings Editor in addition to covering the wines of the Loire, Southern France, Argentina and South Africa.

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