Angus Paul, Transient Lands Pinotage 2021
Angus Paul has a passion for South African heritage varietals, focussing on Chenin Blanc and Pinotage, and believes in minimal intervention winemaking – a combination that clearly works well.
The vision for Transient Lands is to ‘source, blend and bottle special parcels of Pinotage across the Western Cape and become an expression of each vintage through that grape’s proverbial lens.’. The 2021 vintage is sourced from three parcels – 10% from a block on the Polkadraai Hill, 45% comes from a Helderberg block planted in 1972 and the final 45% comes from the cooler Stanford Foothills on the South Coast.
“Smooth and subtly wooded, with good texture, bramble and raspberry coulis flavours and a refreshing, stony finish” Tim Atkin 2022 Report.
This bottling will be an ongoing project to source, blend and bottle special parcels of Pinotage across the Western Cape and become an expression of each vintage through that grape’s proverbial lens. In 2021 the blend uses three fantastically farmed Pinotage blocks: one on the granitic Polkadraai Hills above Stellenbosch makes up 10% of the blend; another old vine block (1972 planted) on Helderberg, in Stellenbosch makes up 45% of the blend, also granitic soils; the last 45% of the blend is made up of grapes sourced from the Stanford Foothills far down the South Coast, employing cooler weather and sandstone derived soils.
Grapes are hand picked and cooled overnight. They were then fermented in open-top bins. Of the grapes, 35% were foot trodden whole bunches, and the remainder destemmed. A light sulphur addition was made at crushing. Fermentation took place over 10 days after which a maceration was carried out until the tannins had developed satisfactorily. After draining, the remaining grapes were pressed to old wooden barrels. A spontaneous malolactic fermentation then took place, and in early Autumn wines were sulphured for the first time. Wines were bottled in December after having spent 11 months in barrel with no racking.
This vintage shows a fine balance of delicacy and power. The wine shows a slight cracked pepper character backed up by waves of dark red fruit: cherries, cranberry, crushed strawberries. The palate is equally fruit forward and primary, but complemented by the cracked pepper character, slight reduction and firm structure. Though Pinotage is born of two grapes known for delicacy, stylistically it is usually geared toward power. This bottling shows a more classic interpretation, one that required no manipulation or box-squeezing to achieve.
Alc.: 13.26 % T.A.: 5.1 g/L
pH: 3.74 R.S.: 2.2 g/L
A reference to the fleeting custodianship of the lands we, humans, grow crops on. Though we may now ‘own’ them, and describe them as ‘lands’ – the plural being implicit of ownership – they will continue their docile existence forever, should we be there to tend them or not. Notably, despite this, and quite incredibly, we have this product like no other – wine – that allows us to taste those particular aggregates of earth we plant on.
Anything from the grill, including stuffed brown mushrooms.