Blank Bottle Retirement @ 65 2021 75cl


Tasting Note

"Lightish cherry red. Beautifully scented. There’s a hint of slightly reductive rubber but it is so slight it works well with the sweetness of the fruit. Dry, chewy but fresh, with the intensity and depth of old vines but no showing off. Drink 2017-2021" Julia Harding MW

Old vines make better wine.... just less of it. When the owner of this Cinsault vineyard got a bit fed up of looking after his old vines, he decided to scrub it up and plant apples - you also get more per hectare for apples. However, the (then) 63 year old vines needed saved and Pieter Walser of Blank Bottle stepped in, convinced him to let him use the vines. Pieter spent ages looking after the vines, getting them ready for harvest and then a bunch of sheep broke into the vineyards and ate the bloody lot! Two years later, for the 65th anniversary of the vineyard, Pieter made this stonker and stuck a sheeps skull on the label as a two fingered salute to the sheep!


The tale behind the name BLANKbottle is that when Pieter was starting out, he made a small parcel of Shiraz and was left with a few unlabelled cases. One day, a woman wanted to buy a wine – “Anything but Shiraz,” she told him. Pieter shrugged and sold her the unlabelled Shiraz, neglecting to mention the variety. A few weeks later she returned demanding more, saying it was the best thing she’d ever drunk. For Pieter, it was a lesson on the gap between what people think they like (or dislike) and what they actually like (or dislike). After that, he decided not to list the varieties on his labels. Every one of Pieter’s wines is a story, rather than a grape variety, and it’s the juice inside the bottle which reveals that story. He doesn’t own any vines, but instead scours South Africa’s winelands for top-quality fruit that has somehow slipped under the radar, now sourcing from nearly 70 sites. Some years he’ll make 20 wines, other years 35. With the benefit of anonymity, variety and regional identity take a back seat while parcel expression does the driving. These are some of South Africa’s most original wines, made by one of South Africa’s most original winemakers.

Country: South Africa | Region: Swartland | Alcohol: TBC | Grapes: Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault | Vegetarian | Vegan