jamie goode's wine blog: Refinement from Cloof

Friday, October 05, 2007

Refinement from Cloof

Cloof, a South African producer from the Darling region, are making some interesting wines. Their Lynchpin is a bit of a tilt at left-bank Bordeaux, aiming at elegance and refinement. They even released this en primeur earlier this year (when I was really impressed with the sample they sent through). Now the finished wine, the Lynchpin 2005, is on the market, and here's my verdict.

Cloof Lynchpin 2005 Darling, South Africa
This is 71% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak, of which three quarters is new. It weighs in at 14.5% alcohol, but this is a warm region and the wine is actually quite restrained. There's a lovely complex, aromatic gravelly, minerally nose with a subtle hint of greenness to the berry fruits. The palate is concentrated, refined and well balanced, showing fresh red and black fruits with a distinctly mineralic edge framing the fruit nicely. Nothing sticks out at all: it certainly shows no signs of over-ripeness. There's the structure here for long ageing. If I have to be at all critical, there's perhaps just a bit too much greenness under the fruit, but this is a fairly serious effort, albeit slightly ambitiously priced. 91/100 (19.95 http://www.winedirect.co.uk/)

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At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

No wonder there is greenness Jamie with 71% merlot. Just one varietal that is so hard to get right in the Cape

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Oscar Foulkes said...

These things are always so subjective, but if I may be allowed to add my tuppence worth (as someone intimately acquainted with this wine)...

I don't think there is greenness in Lynchpin. The Cabernet Franc component (the critical part, hence the name Lynchpin) has a fresh, cleansing acidity, which gives the wine its restraint and elegance.

Darling Merlot often has a sweet and sour character, but on the whole presents very 'ripe'. We did keep two barrels of the 2005 Merlot unblended (subsequently added to another wine). This was huge, blockbuster stuff without any trace of greenness.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Oscar, I value your input. Keith, what do you think of this wine?

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