Pilgrim Wines Bastardo do Castello (Trousseau) 2017

HANSCORE: 20/25 

A first for South African wine! The legendary Henry Kotze has been carving a niche for himself as a weird cultivar specialist making incredible Vermentinos, Nebbiolos, Sangioveses…and now he’s has done it again with this delightful Bastardo do Castello (or Trousseau, as it is more commonly known in the Jura region of France). There were only 0.9 hectares of Trousseau vines in the whole country, yielding only about 3 tonnes of fruit, and producing only 200 bottles.
But perhaps what makes Henry even more of a superhero is that, instead of simply hogging the 0.9ha of vines to himself, he has grafted 1000 stokkies (in this instance, Trousseau vines grafted onto American rootstock) for anyone else who may be keen to have a crack at farming them (and vinifying them).
And of course we know that just because something is weird, that doesn’t make it awesome…but the fact is that this bottling is superb! An absolute essential for lovers of Pinot Noir, and seekers of the unusual.

👃🏼 Hints of liquorice, leather, vanilla, and blackcurrant fruit pastille on the vanguard.

👄 It’s made in a fairly ripe style, with a generous lashing of oak, but still manages to carry a sense of elegance. On entry, there are some soft blackcurrant pastille elements, which give way to juicy plum elements, and finish off with some fine-but-firm tannins on the tail end.

🔬 Stellenbosch fruit was harvested at 24.5 balling before being foot-stomped the old-fashioned way. Final wine spent 24 months in oak.

💸💸 ZAR280.00 (as of January 2021)

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