Cloof (South Africa) Cellar Blend 2004|
Press wine is the wine that is released not as 'free run' juice - the finest 'grade' of juice released without pressing after fermentation - but squeezed from the skins by a press. Described by winemaker Oscar Foulkes as "bits and pieces of our press wine randomly collected by our cellar hands," the Cellar Blend is an uholy alliance of Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and the Portuguese Tinta Barroca press wines. "And they charge £10 for this?" I hear you cry. Well, it has been lavished in French oak barrels for a year (25% of which were new) and is a wine made with obvious care. Expect press juice to be more deeply-coloured, tannic and extracted, and that's just what you get in this joyous mouthful of a wine. High-toned, Porty and deeply fruity, the nose has little notes of Eucalyptus and mint, and a solid black berry core. On the palate it is almost jammy in its fruit concentration and ripeness, but there's a fairly massive, inch-thick slab of tannins layered underneath, and all sorts of spice, cedar and smoky nuances. This one takes no prisoners, but is a cracker. £9.99 exclusively from www.cloof.co.za, but note that delivery on a case is only £4.99 to the UK and they currently offer six free bottles of Bush Vines CPS - another former wine of the week - with every dozen purchased.