Radford Dale Thirst Cinsault 2017
Thirst Cinsault is refreshing, lower alcohol, lower sulphur, naturally-made wines, with minimal intervention. They have not stripped them of any natural components and they are neither fined nor filtered and can show an amazing haze. Why? Thirst wines are like a live rock concert rather than a manufactured, boyband studio album. Their aim is to express their environment, their varieties and vintage, in the most natural way. Their simple logic is the less you manipulate a wine, the better it is – and they, therefore, capture its integrity, energy and individuality. Radford Dale was founded in 1998, by drinking buddies and youthful idealists Ben Radford and Alex Dale. They set up Radford Dale with the objective of making high-quality wines from the vineyards spread across the Western Cape. Alex and Ben have many years of wine experience between them, which reflects in the quality of wines that they craft under this label.
When Barossa-born Ben went back to his homeland some years later, Alex stayed on and decided to develop Radford Dale into one of the very best wine names in the country. And he did. The Cinsault vines were planted in 1989 and are grown on sandy soils lining the banks of the Moddergat River. They are bush vines and keep fruit within the canopy away from direct sunlight. There is no irrigation in this vineyard so it produces a small crop but one with great concentration which is harvested early during ripening to retain maximum freshness. In the cellar, semi-carbonic maceration methods were used during the natural fermentation, resulting in wonderfully perfumed fruit.
“You don’t need smoke and mirrors to make great wine. You need good earth, good air, good weather, good fruit and good people. Our goal is to make the best possible wines, without all the hype and swagger. We don’t do things for commercial reasons or “just because”. We don’t do things because that’s how they’ve always been done. We do whatever is needed to make a wine that speaks for itself and especially where it’s from. Many producers make wines to win prestigious awards, but we’re not part of the glory system. People buy into the virtues of our wines and what we stand for. Our wines don’t chase trophies, but they’re more complex and balanced than the ones that do. Our consumers love them for their attitude and taste. And that’s all the recognition we need.”
This has more weight than the Thirst Gamay, From bush vines by the Moddergat River, this naturally fermented Cinsault has cranberry, crunchy dark cherry character and grippier tannins. This wine has an attitude but delivers the same refreshment as the Gamay Refreshing, lower alcohol, naturally made wine, with wild ferments and minimal intervention. The Thirst Cinsault is fantastic by itself or paired with charcuterie or cheese.