2022 Sadie Family Swartland Pofadder Cinsault
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2022 Sadie Family Swartland Pofadder Cinsault

Swartland, SOUTH AFRICA
$170. 00
Bottle
$2040.00 Dozen
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Cork

In the 1920’s Cinsault was the most planted black grape in South Africa. However, as one of the fickler varieties to work with, it suffered a fall from grace post WW2. It’s only very recently that — with growers such as Eben Sadie and Chris Alheit leading the charge— the ‘Pinot Noir of Swartland’ has been reborn. The results are revelatory. This is a variety that is being planted more and more by some top growers in the south of France. Wines like this show you why.

Pofadder is a pure Cinsault, cropped from a parcel on the Kasteelberg Mountain (west of Malmesbury) planted in 1973. Here 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 on the cape, but he concedes that this is the vineyard, and the wine, which needs the most care. Controlling yields, sorting bunches and berries and then protection from oxidation in the cellar are all vital. Eighty percent whole bunches were placed in an old wooden, open-top fermenter, with one or two gentle foot stomps each day to release enough juice to keep the fermentation ticking over. 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 textured yet vibrant ode to both variety and region.

Other Reviews....
Red-fruited and softly spicy, the 2022 Old Vine Series Pofadder offers ample floral expressions with crunchy red fruit aromas that display a pure and fresh expression of Cinsault. Medium to full-bodied and with 14% alcohol, the palate is fresh and mineral driven before a firm tannic grip clamps down, telling me it's much too young right now. With a fine acid backbone, this beauty will continue to shine with elegance and finesse for more than a decade. It's immensely pleasurable and has me craving duck breast. Only 5,000 bottles were produced from 50% whole-cluster Cinsault. Speaking with Eben Sadie, he believes it’s their best Cinsault since 2012. Drink 2025 - 2036.
94+ points
Anthony Mueller - Wine Advocate (Dec 30, 2023)

The 2022 Pofadder is pure Cinsault from Swartland, 50% whole clusters with 20 to 28 days on the skins, raised in 40-year-old foudres. It has a pure bouquet with maraschino, blueberry, pressed flowers and a light musk-like scent. Stunning delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannins, perfectly judged acidity, gentle grip and an extraordinarily long and sensual finish. Cinsault doesn't get better than this, and I could understand why Sadie remarked, “The fruit was so great I didn't want to put it into the vat." Drink 2025-2048.
95 points
Neal Martin - Vinous

Beautifully aromatic with notes of chocolate orange, wild cherries, strawberries, five spice and cinnamon stick. Some redbush tea. So sleek and fresh on the palate, with a medium body, fine tannins and a taut, focused finish. 100% cinsault. Try after 2024.
94 points
James Suckling

The gnarly old bush vines for this world-class Cinsault lie in a cooler microclimate of the Swartland, the gentle hills of the Riebeeksrivier valley. There's an intense perfume: roses, lilies, violets and exotic spice, fringed in savoury earthy tones and fresh cinnamon. The tannins are satiny and bright, ribboning around pure cherries and berries with a hint of sea salt on the long finish. Drink 2024 - 2033.
96 points
Malu Lambert - Decanter