Percheron Old Vine Cinsault 2010 Western Cape

30 Sep 2011 by Jancis Robinson

From £5.79

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The maiden vintage of this wine offers quite stunning value, although as far as I can see it is available only in the UK, I'm afraid - not even in its native South Africa. It is the second wine of the week I have recommended from UK importer Paul Boutinot's increasingly ambitiouspercheron biodynamic Cape wine producer Waterkloof (see earlier one here) and Tamlyn recommended another in the summer. This flirtatious light, fruity, wonderfully true varietal red is part of its keenly priced range named after the Percheron workhorses that are apparently used on the Waterkloof estate in Somerset West,

Except that the grapes for this particular wine are grown - on 65-year-old vines! - in super-trendy Swartland. But to use the WO (Wine of Origin) designation Swartland, a wine has to be bottled in South Africa, and this is bottled at Boutinot's winery in France, so it has to carry the hugely unspecific appellation Western Cape (see A South African hobby horse). It is surely difficult to reconcile the age of the vines with the price of the bottle - especially since the resulting wine is so delicious.

I was just one of several hardened wine writers to have been seduced by this wine at a recent Wine Society tasting. I loved the pure cherry cough sweet flavour that is so typical of Cinsault - Morello cherries all the way with no heaviness and minimal tannins. This is a 14% wine that could be quite pretty served at cellar temperature, I suspect. I would not cellar it, but I think for the price, it should provide enormous pleasure over the next few months.

The winemaker is Marinda Kruger van Eck. I hope she will sniff out other parcels of wonderful old vines and transform them into similar bargains. There is a rosé version of this wine that I have not tasted,

Boutinot cite the following other UK stockists and a recommended retail price of £6.77, although D Byrne of Clitheroe are currently selling it for only £5.79:
D Byrne, Lancashire - 01200 423 152 www.dbyrne-finewine.co.uk
Bacchanalia, Cambs - 01223 315 034 www.winegod.co.uk
Best Cellars, Devon - 01647 432 262 www.bestcellars.co.uk
Wines of Interest, Ipswich - 01473 215 752 www.winesofinterest.co.uk

The Wine Society is currently offering it at £5.95 here (though you do have to buy a £40 share in the Wine Society first - worth it for the many services offered by them in my view, not least their bargain storage facility - see our Where to store feature).

Percheron Old Vine Cinsault is also available in Shanghai, Holland, Ireland, Dubai and will shortly be available in Abu Dhabi.

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