2021 Sadie Family Swartland Treinspoor Tinta Barroca
Tinta Barocca arrived in South Africa from the Duero and has found a home in the Western Cape. Historically Tinta Barocca has always played a prominent role in Swartland's red blends, though interest in the variety, particularly from the old, dry-grown vineyards, has really spiked in recent years. This vineyard, planted in 1974 and located next to the old railway line (treinspoor), lies four kilometres west of Malmesbury on decomposed granite and sandstone. Sadie notes that while the very fragile, thin skin of Tinta Barocca is prone to sunburn, the old bush vines keep the bunches sheltered from the intense Swartland sun. Sadie likens his Treinspoor to a sort of stylistic cross between Northern Rhone Syrah (blackberry/currant fruit, plushness, nettles) and Piemontese Nebbiolo, (spice, florals, acidity and tannins). That pretty much nails it. It's certainly a wine of great energy and drive, with its dark and inky core surrounded by layers of pretty, red fruit and florals all wrapped in fine, powdery tannins. Fermented in concrete and raised for 12 months in foudre, it's an outstanding, idiosyncratic red of great beauty and character.
The 2021 Treinspoor is Sadie’s Tinta Barocca that the man himself likens to Nebbiolo, also opining that it is a wine that needs considerable ageing. These vines were planted in 1974, and the blend includes 40% whole clusters. It has a complex, succinctly defined bouquet with melted tar and graphite infused dark berry fruit, a hint of Lapsang Souchong. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, perfectly-tuned acidity, almost Burgundian in texture yet with more pepperiness towards the finish. So elegant and harmonious - this is stunning from every angle you look at it.
Neal Martin - Vinous
“I want to go even darker,” says Eben Sadie of this Tinta Barocca, which is a favoured red with the winemaking team. “People have had enough strawberry and raspberry.” This is inky, tarry and intense, with grippy tannins, layers of damson and black cherry, some steak tartare and a lift of spices from whole bunches. Drink 2024-2031.
Tim Atkin MW - South Africa Report 2022