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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Natte Valleij Darling Paarl
90POINTS
16½/20

Natte Valleij Darling Paarl 2017

Darling, Coastal Region, South AfricaYoung winemaker Alex Milner suddenly became very cinsault-centric when a professor told him not to bother reading the cinsault chapter in his textbook because it would be worthless to him. Fast forward from that 2011 conversation to today, and The Natte Valleij Cinsault Collective. Alex set out to find forgotten patches of old dryland bush vine cinsault across the Western Cape, expressing their individualities through low-interference winemaking. These 1978 planted bush vines grow in a very isolated block in Darling, on a hill surrounded by wheat fields, on on decomposed granite. This was fermented in concrete egg. Garrigue, dried rosemary, dried thyme and scrubby thorny herbs coat the medium+ palate, toned with darker raspberry and cherry, lined with sarsaparilla, seasoned with rafts of fine pink peppercorns, and housed by sticky tannins. Acidity is grapefruit-laced and lifted enough to carry the sun-weight, finishing with a sapid wild plum smokiness. 800 bottles.Tasted: 08 January 2020Tasted by: Treve RingPrices: BC 49.00 private wine shops Producer: Natte ValleyDistributors: Sur Lie
Grape: Cinsault