A. A. Badenhorst Ramnasgras Cinsault 2017

Medium ruby color; cherry, raspberry, dusty rose flowers on the nose; raspberry, strawberry, dark sour cherry, redcurrant, some pleasing earthiness and graphite, spice on the palate.

A. A. Badenhorst Ramnasgras Cinsault 2017

Dry; rich and very pleasurable in the mouth. Typical cinsault (pronounced “sin-so”) low tannin, medium body, relatively low alcohol (13% ABV). Beyond that: superb texture, good acidity for cinsault (3.66 pH). Special effort. Structure and focus. Excellent fruit. Seductive—more sensual each arousing sip.

This is apex cinsault which typically is relegated to a supporting role in the southern Rhône and in Provence rosé. No supporting role here: 100% cinsault. This is play similar to malbec/Argentina, carménère/Chile where a French blender shines in the proper terroir and a star is born. In this case, South Africa/

Badenhorst winemakers, Adi is far right

Delicious cinsault from cinsault champion Andre Adrian (Adi) Badenhorst abetted by his cousin Hein. The Ramnasgras grapes come a small vineyard on the estate planted in the 1950s. The wine is made with minimal intervention. There is exacting hand selection, fermentation in old wooden vats, maturation in foudre (large casks) for a year.

Most people know of the Stellenbosch and Paarl wine regions in South Africa. Swartland (30 miles north of Cape Town) is something of a new frontier of wine and olive production. Badenhorst is a leader. This is reason you must seek out South African wines. Sure, many are great values. This is an example of you getting to taste something extraordinary, something you may not get from any other place, maybe from any other maker.

A. A. Badenhorst Ramnasgras Cinsault 2017 is simply an impressive, outstanding cinsault effort. Exciting, pleasingly different from the cherry-red fruit, black-fruit parade from popular, more familiar grapes. Vibrant. Mouthwatering, silky, delicious, extended finish. What more do you want? How about very food friendly. Pair with very wide range of food thanks to easy tannins and good acidity: escargot stew; smoked salmon; roasted and braised meats; lamb; grilled vegetables; many cheeses, including gouda, gruyère, emmental, beaufort. $32-50

A. A. Badenhorst website

Grape sorting at Badenhorst
Badenhorst vineyard
Badenhorst Maypole party area in eucalyptus grove
St John and Archie at Badenhorst
Badenhorst winery