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Old vine Cinsault on a breakfast table in an otherwise empty room

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Pictured above: Pieter made a linocut of a sheep’s skull for the Retirement at 65 label

Today we share with you our second release of 2022 vintage wines from Pieter Walser’s BLANKbottle Winery, and it’s all about Cinsault! Both of these 2022s are tremendous efforts from BLANKbottle and a reminder of why they have built up such a loyal following with Great Domaines customers. Retirement at 65 from Darling and My Köffer from Breedekloof.

Dear Reader,

From one of the oldest blocks of Cinsault in Darling, when this vineyard turned 65, the first ever crop was bottled. The sheep that had been eating all of the grapes had finally been retired from their mischief (and through preventative measures of nets and fences – nothing violent – just to be clear). This block of bush-vine Cinsault, now at 72 years of age, is situated on a farm in a valley in Darling. Pieter looks back on what it took and how long it took to produce a wine from these vines. He is very happy with the 2022 and so are we! The choice of title to this offer is because of the wine’s label, which Pieter made from a linocut of a sheep’s skull (pictured above) and notes that he took inspiration from the cover of the iconic 1993 studio album by Pearl Jam, Vs. The ”breakfast table” line is from the third track on the album, ”Daughter”.

The 2022 vintage of Retirement at 65 is somewhere around 60% Cinsault blended with Syrah from bush-vines growing just next to the Cinsault block. Pieter says he doesn’t even pay much attention to the exact percentages – this is a farm he has gotten to know so well and blends based on taste.

My Köffer is 100% Cinsault, sourced from a single vineyard, planted on a dry river bed of the valley floor in the Breedekloof. Pieter refers to the vines as ”raised bush-vines”, because they once grew as un-trellised, but have since been raised off the ground on stakes so that the canopy forms an open frame to allow for air to flow between the bunches and avoid contact between bunches too.

There is also an element of looking back here with this wine and at what’s transpired since its first vintage (2011) over ten years ago. Pieter remarks that a high percentage of whole-bunch has been incorporated in the recent past and now, with the 2022, the decision was made to return to an earlier approach. The percentage of whole-bunch is around 30%.

Do not hesitate to pull the corks on both of these wines. They are both super-expressive, elegant wines that Pieter just wants people to enjoy.

BLANKbottle Winery
Retirement at 65
2022

Cinsault, Syrah

W.O. Darling

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R 315 
per bottle

5,000 bottles produced

Great Domaines BLANKbottle-Retirement-@-65-2022
BLANKbottle-My-Koffer

BLANKbottle Winery
My Köffer
2022

Cinsault

W.O. Breedekloof

__________

R 315 
per bottle

2,448 bottles produced