#351 De Krans Tritonia Red Blend 2022

TECHNICAL SPECS

🔬 Wine of Origin Calitzdorp. Winemaker: Christoff de Wet
78% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz, 2% Tinta Barocca
Selected grapes were handpicked at 24.5º Balling. Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barocca grapes were vinified separately in open fermenters until fermentation has stopped. Skins were then pressed and the wine was left to undergo malolactic fermentation in concrete tanks. After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured in new, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill French Oak barrels for 12 months. After ageing, the final blend was bottled from a careful barrel selection of the best parcels.
| Alc 13.5% | pH 3.68 | Acid 6.0 g/L | Res Sugar 3.0 g/L | Dry Extract 31.8g |

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Calitzdorp: fluke or fate?

South Africa’s Calitzdorp region has all the makings of a sort-of Mini Douro Valley. Though the story of how all these cultivars ended up being planted squarely in the middle of South Africa’s Semi-arid Klein Karoo is truly bizarre.

A fortuitous oversight

As the story goes, former De Krans proprietor, Groot Oom Chris Nel, – Boets Nel’s father –  had a dream of being able to make Shiraz wine with fruit from his own land. Being a man of action, he wasted no time in heading down to his closest nursery, purchasing the choicest Shiraz vines, planting them on his land, and counting down the months to his first harvest.
HOWEVER, after many successful vintages of Shiraz wine production, he was informed by a passing viticulturist that the vineyards he had planted were – beyond a shadow of a doubt – Tinta Barocca vines, and not Shiraz at all.

Doubling down

Mercifully for South Africa’s wine industry, Oom Chris was a measured man. Instead of tearing up his vines in a rage, he took time off to travel to the home of Tinta Barocca, in the hopes that the journey might inform the fate of grape vines, which he could no longer sell as “Shiraz”. During this trip, he discovered that Calitzdorp and the Douro were, in fact, incredibly similar in a number of respects…and a spark was lit in his imagination.
Upon his return, he didn’t waste a single moment bemoaning the costly viticutural glitch, he instead doubled down on Portugal by planting loads more Portuguese cultivars. And the rest as they say is history! Since then, De krans has bottled South Africa’s first Cape Vintage Port, produced using fruit from a mix of Tinta Barocca, Tinta Amarela, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional. In time, they would also go on to bottle South Africa’s very first Verdelho, transforming the future of the entire wine ward as they went.
If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. Until then, here are my tasting notes and technical specs:

TASTING NOTES

👃🏼 A quite rich sweet vanguard of slightly raisined prunes, blackcurrant pastilles, cocoa, aniseed and nutmeg, along with slightly leafier hints of eucalpytus and mint.
👄 The palate has a sweet black fruit entry, despite only 3g of sugar being left in the wine. There are loads of rich plums, prunes, and even blueberries, kept interesting by hints of oak spice, as we detected on the nose. Tannins are already softening up, and I don’t think this is going to age for long, but there is sufficient structure in place to keep everything upright.
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