Craven Cinsault 2020, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Craven Wines is a winemaking collaboration between husband-and-wife team Mick and Jeanine Craven. Mick is an Aussie currently working as lead winemaker at Mulderbosch during the day; Jeanine is South African, and they met in California ‘dragging hoses’ in Sonoma for harvest in 2007. Unlike Mick’s usual red winemaking style, the Cinsault grapes are destemmed before fermentation due to the natural low acidity compared to Pinot Noir and Syrah. Whole-bunch fermentation tends to reduce acidity. Gentle pumpovers or punch downs are performed 1- 2 times a day throughout fermentation, and the wine is 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 sulfur. It has a delicate cranberry and pomegranate bouquet that manages to convey the transparency one seeks in the variety. The palate is well balanced, offering black currant, raspberry and cranberry leaf, gently grippy tannin and a touch of salinité that comes through toward the edgy, chalky-textured finish.