Ataraxia’s red blend has as its primary goal the ultimate expression of a red blend from South Africa. At present Kevin does not concentrate on the cultivars that make up this blend, or indeed what, if any, cultivar forms the backbone of the blend. The quest is to show that “where from” is far more decisive than “what from” and is the truest expression of a wine’s personality. Kevin has, however, always been excited at the notion of a seven, twelve, even fifteen variety blend, where the true art of blending is taken to its logical and comprehensive conclusion.
The fruit used to make this wine was sourced from radical and individual vineyards sites with one goal in mind – to have the confidence to “whisper” style through the true expression of these sites rather than “shout” brashness through winemaking excesses. This wine is a seamless blend of three varietals, Pinot noir, Cinsault and cool-climate Pinotage. However, the emphasis of this blend remains entirely on style rather than cultivar make-up. Cultivars are after all merely vehicles to express terroir and not the expression of a wine itself.
The different cultivars were handpicked, sorted and crushed into open fermenters. Here they each underwent cold maceration on their skins for seven to ten days before fermentation commenced. At completion of their ferment, each batch was pressed off separately to barrel where malolactic fermentation took place. Careful maturation in tight-grain French oak barriques, 21% of which were new, for a period of 11 months followed before the wine was blended and bottled in January 2018.
Food pairing ideas
As Kevin calls this his “Pinot Noir on steroids” this blend will go with any of the Ataraxia Pinot Noir food pairings.
It will also pair well with venison.