Young 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. This is his collective bottling from 4 sites (Swartland, Darling, Stellenbosch x 2) showcasing the grape and greater Cape. After whole bunch fermentation, this spent one year in old oak barrels and concrete eggs. Still much in youth, with plum, juicy raspberry, sapid branch and smokey peppercorn on a medium bodied, softer palate. Tannins are similarly soft and nubile, though acidity is fine and tight, drawing this to a lingering nutmeg finish (and an impressing 12.5 degrees). Give this young wine some airtime and a chill to show its best.
Score: 90 points -- Treve Ring, gismondionwine.com, 2019