Blankbottle owner and winemaker, Pieter Walzer reports that, during his student years, he drank a lot of Tassenberg. He wasn’t particularly fond of the whole wine, but one component in it reminded him of fresh strawberries. After being involved in a month-long harvest at Eesterivier Wine Cellar in Stellenbosch in 1997, during which ‘hundreds of thousands of litres’ of Tassenberg were produced, he finally identified the grape which added the mysterious fresh strawberry component. It was Cinsaut! The first pure Cinsaut he bottled in 2007 was good, but not exactly what he was looking for. However, soon after that he got a tip-off about a small Cinsaut vineyard in the Breedekloof Valley which, at that time, was providing grapes for cheap red blends produced by a co-operative winery. He ‘took the plunge’ and bought some of the grapes.
Cinsaut is known as a varietal which produces lots of grapes per hectare. It produces large berries in huge bunches resulting in much less skin/juice contact which, in turn, results in a lighter coloured red wine. He allowed the grapes to ferment in small open-top French oak barrels and aged it in the same barrels for a year before it was bottled.
Today, seven vintages down the line, Pieter has released the Mykoffer 2018 – a straight Breedekloof Cinsaut. It has a feminine elegance to it, with a surprisingly intense personality. He has memorialised his first Tassenberg experiences in the name: BLANKbottle Mykoffer 2018. Koffer means ‘suitcase’ so the name alludes to his ‘suitcase full of memories’.