Leeu Passant Old Vines Lötter Cinsault 2018 Franschhoek (14%) Andrea Mullineux used to make Lötter as a Cape Winemakers' Guild auction lot, but the 3,000 bottles are now sold under the Leeu Passant label. Rose petal and Turkish delight aromas segue into a palate that's surprisingly dense and concentrated with sappy, old-vine complexity. 2022-28.
The large Cinsault berries in the Lotter vineyard develop thick dark skins and yield a skin to juice ratio not dissimilar to small Cabernet Sauvignon berries. This wine was matured for 20 months in 500 litre French oak barrels and shows a fascinatingly different expression to their Basson Old Vine Cinsault from Wellington. Fabulously red fruited, the bouquet shines with crushed rose petals, sweet red plums, sun ripened red currants, macerated cherries and exotic Turkish delight nuances. Fuller, rounder and more opulently fleshy on the palate, the generosity of fruit belies a density, depth and concentration supported by a plump, textured mouth feel enlivened with hints of sapidity, hedgerow herbaceousness and mulled wine Christmas spices. Beautifully sweet, well honed tannins leave a lasting impression on the long plush finish. A wine still playing its cards close to its chest, but suggests great rewards lie in store for those willing to cellar their bottles for a further 5 to 8+ years before revisiting. 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW