I’m back to South African wine and yet another “natural” one. After finding out that I passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Level 3 (advanced) exam, I decided to celebrate with a trip to my favorite wine shop, Wardman’s in D.C.
I first discovered this Natte Valleij Cinsault earlier this year when one the staff told me it is of the best natural wines in the store. I’ve mentioned Cinsault before, it’s one of the parents, along with Pinot Noir, of my beloved Pinotage. Although the grape is native to France and part of Southern Rhone blends, I believe this is the only single varietal Consault I’ve ever had. It has become a bit obscure. It has been known as Hermitage in South Africa, resulting in Pinotage when crossed with Pinot Noir.
The Natte Valleij Farm makes wine with minimal intervention. This 2015 Cinsault is from grapes from multiple old bush vineyards. It is unfined and unfiltered. This wine was a lovely light color, full of red fruit, with bright acidity. Despite its light body, there were soft tannins and a nice structure. As far as food pairings, I would try it with almost anything you would enjoy with other light-bodied reds, such as Pinot Noir.