Old Vine Series. 13% alc. In the 1920's Cinsault was the most planted black grape in South Africa, yet as it's one of the more fickle varieties to work with and to vinify, it suffered a fall from grace post WW2. It's only very recently that, with growers such as Sadie and Chris Alheit leading the charge, the 'Pinot Noir of the Swartland' has been reborn. The results are revelatory. Pofadder is a pure Cinsault, cropped from a parcel on the Kasteelberg Mountain planted in 1973, where the soils are composed of slate and decomposed shale. Pofadder is Afrikaans for a puff adder, a type of snake that is known in these parts and indeed, a puff adder claimed the life of a vineyard worker in the 1940s. Hence the name. Sadie is a champion for old-vine Cinsault in the Cape but he concedes that this is the vineyard, and the wine, that needs the most care.
Controlling yields, bunch and berry sorting and then protection from oxidation in the cellar are all vital. In the end, yields came in below 30 hl/ha. The whole bunches were placed in an old wooden, open-top fermenter, with one or two gentle foot stomps each day to release enough juice for fermentation. After a month on skins the grapes were then transferred to a tiny basket press and pressed directly to an old wooden cask for aging. The resulting wine is a gloriously pure and ethereal ode to both variety and region. For what it's worth, Eben notes that the 2018 is "the most refined Pofadder we have bottled to date."