A rare and intriguing cinsault

2017 Arco Laarman This startlingly bright and clear South African wine has the purest of all cinsault flavours.

922_MW_P00_wine

2017 Arco Laarman, Focal Point Cinsault, Stellenbosch, South Africa£24.95,Vineyards of Sherborne,01935-815544,VineyardsOfSherborne.co.uk

I have known Arco Laarman since he took over the reins at the famous Paarl winery Glen Carlou, and ten years down the line he has set up on his own. I tasted his wines back in May and it has been a long six months waiting for them to turn up on our shores. The 2017 is the maiden vintage for Arco's Focal Point collection and both the chardonnay and cinsault are utterly delicious and unlike anything you will have tasted before.

The ethos behind the Focal Point range is to capture the exact expressions of the vineyards from which he draws his fruit. This fascinating cinsault comes from bush vines in Stellenbosch's Bottelary Hills. Half of the grapes were de-stemmed and the other half were fermented in whole bunches. The fruit character is startlingly bright and clear with earth, stem and spice notes intertwined with strawberry and sour cherry tones. There is no noticeable oak interference as maturation took place in 300 litre neutral barrels for ten months and so this wine has the purest of all cinsault flavours.

Only 1,424 bottles were released in this vintage and so stock is painfully rare, but if you want to taste a genuinely intriguing cinsault, made by a desperately talented dude, and closed with a hilarious cork stopper, then this is it!

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).

Recommended

Wine of the week: a perky Austrian white with style and panache
Wine

Wine of the week: a perky Austrian white with style and panache

This Austrian grüner offers a little more flavour intrigue than your average sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc.
15 Jan 2021
Wine of the week: an insanely delicious Kiwi interloper
Wine

Wine of the week: an insanely delicious Kiwi interloper

This silky Kiwi combines spice and tension with an underlying classiness and flamboyance.
8 Jan 2021
Wine of the week: the ultimate gift for your palate this Christmas season
Wine

Wine of the week: the ultimate gift for your palate this Christmas season

This is one of the few English white wines that can stand shoulder to shoulder with elite-class white Burgundies.
24 Dec 2020
Wine of the week: a simply sublime nebbiolo
Wine

Wine of the week: a simply sublime nebbiolo

With one of the most regal and plush palates imaginable, this is a vinous work of art.
18 Dec 2020

Most Popular

Bitcoin: fool’s gold or the new gold?
Bitcoin

Bitcoin: fool’s gold or the new gold?

With bitcoin hitting new highs last week, and close to becoming a mainstream investment, is it really gold for the 21st century?
15 Jan 2021
Leasehold reforms promise the end of a nightmare for many homeowners
Property

Leasehold reforms promise the end of a nightmare for many homeowners

Horror stories about unscrupulous landlords profiting from a legal relic of the feudal era are about to get a happy ending, says Simon Wilson.
16 Jan 2021
The MoneyWeek Podcast: bitcoin special
Bitcoin

The MoneyWeek Podcast: bitcoin special

Merryn talks to bitcoin experts Dominic Frisby and Charlie Morris to get the lowdown on the cryptocurrency to find out why it's such a huge global phe…
15 Jan 2021