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For the 2017 vintage, the Cravens were lucky enough to be shown some fruit from a farm they have always wanted to make wine from, Rustenhof. This great farm in the Faure area has long produced some lovely Cinsault (Cinsaut) fruit. It is a dry, bush-vine block, planted in granite and sand thus suiting their winemaking style very well. Unlike Mick's usual red winemaking style, the Cinsault grapes are de-stemmed before fermentation due to the natural low acidity compared to Pinot Noir and Syrah (whole-bunch fermentation tends to reduce acidity), the wine is then pressed to 500L barrels for maturation. It is bottled slightly earlier than their other red wines in an effort to express the fresher, brighter characters of Cinsault. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, with nothing added during the winemaking process apart from a dash of sulphur at bottling. Soft cranberry and pomegranate on the nose, leading to a palate that is well balanced, offering black currant, mulberry, juicy cranberry and wild herbs with a good acid backbone. There is a gentle tannic grip and a touch of salinity that comes through toward the chalky-textured finish. This isn't your "glou glou" (knock it back) style of Cinsault, it's the grown up version!
We like to drink this Cinsault with braised lamb dishes and gourmet lamb sausages cooked very slowly over coals.
Varietal / Blend: Cinsault
Farming Practices: Sustainable
"Our story begins back in 2007 while both 'dragging hose' in Sonoma, California, for the harvest season. A chance meeting between an Aussie and a South African has eventually turned into Craven Wines. After both having taken to the text books at our respective universities, we decided to hit the road, see lots of things, work in lots of places and try and learn as much as possible from this massive wine world. Since meeting we have both been on a similar journey to try and find exactly what we wanted to do. Luckily enough, we had very similar ideas.
So back in 2011 we moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa, a place we both have an affinity for. We both feel Stellenbosch has such an amazing array of sites and terroir, and that it is perfect for what we want to do. Which is make site-specific, honest wines. Let the grapes do the talking.... In terms of 'winemaking' we like to keep things as simple as possible. To try and achieve the wines we want to make, we feel the best methods are being hands off, while being very hands on. In other words we pay serious attention to the wine but we do not manipulate the wine. We believe the best way to express site and fruit is to show just that. We do not use cultured yeasts, enzymes, fining agents, etc. throughout the winemaking process. We only use older oak and try our best to find larger format barrels. We allow our wines to stabilise naturally if they so want to. Essentially a minimal amount of SO2 (which is our friend) is the only thing added to our wines."