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The Wine Society’s Generation Series South African Red, Coastal Region 2023

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Made for us as part of our celebratory Generation Series in our 150th Anniversary year by Duncan Savage from the once workhorse, now fashionable, cinsault grape variety. It combines cooler, maritime Darling and warmer Swartland fruit to produce a delicately herbal perfumed, silky textured red with lovely freshness. For a video message from the winemaker, and for more on the story of this wine, please scroll down.
Price: £12.95 Bottle
Price: £155.00 Case of 12
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Code: SA20631

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Cinsault
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2026
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • no oak influence

Generation Series South African Red, Coastal Region 2023

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More on the wine

This wine comes from one of the coolest cellars in the world of wine – the urban winery of Duncan Savage, Tim Atkin’s Winemaker of the Year 2023. Duncan first made his name as a winemaker (he is also something of a surfing legend) at Cape Point Vineyards, specialising in sauvignon blanc. When he began making wines under his own Savage Wines label, he began working with a wider range of grapes, travelling many miles and using all his contacts to source the best quality fruit.

Early Society Lists described reds from the Cape as ‘Bordeaux type’ or ‘Burgundy type’ (until a trade agreement in the 1930s, French wine terms were frequently used by producers elsewhere). With Duncan in mind, we opted for the ‘Burgundy type’, a wine made in the style of a pinot noir but not, as there would have been very limited plantings of pinot in those early years. We believe those earliest listings would have been based on the cinsault grape, which was widely planted at the time.

These days, cinsault is in short supply, and the best grapes are highly sought after by many of South Africa’s most dynamic winemakers. Duncan’s own cinsault, Follow the Line, is one of the Cape’s best, and our wine was made in that style, part from the cooler, more maritime Follow the Line vineyard in Darling, the balance from a small experimental vineyard in the Swartland, both on granitic soil.

We tasted a 2022 wine for an indication of the style, and then gave Duncan the go-ahead to make the wine for us in the 2023 vintage. 100% cinsault, as always meticulously sorted, around half underwent whole-bunch spontaneous ferment, the whole receiving only gentle extraction, two weeks on the skins, basket pressing, followed by maturation in old 600 litre French oak casks and larger oval foudres. As it blends the fruit of two contrasting wine wards, it is Wine of Origin Coastal Region.

Savage Wines

Liked and admired throughout the industry, Duncan Savage was responsible for putting sauvignon specialist Cape Point Vineyards on the vinous map, and for numerous awards during his tenure there. His first bottling under the Savage Wines label was 2011 and these small production, elegant, minimalist own labels focus on a different palate of grape varieties.

In 2016 for the first time he sourced fruit to make a single varietal cinsault under the Dirt Track label for us, with the help of friends and colleagues in the Swartland. A pinotage, shiraz, sauvignon and blends have followed, taking advantage of the best grapes and opportunities that present themselves in any given vintage.

Eat This, Drink That, Live Well

Light fresh, immensely gulpable Cinsault from the talented Duncan Savage. Treat like a Beaujolais.

Fiona Beckett

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