BlankBottle My Eie Stofpad 2017

I opened another BlankBottle wine. Only because I placed a new order and needed to make space in the dedicated BB section of the wine rack. How crazy is this fluorescent colour?

Deep ruby (until you place it in direct sunlight!) with a medium + intensity of black fruits (black currant, blackberry, red fruits (raspberry, cooked strawberry, red plums), orange zest, herbaceous (peppers, grass), herbal (slightly menthol), charred wood and new leather. Dry, full bodied, good acidity, with smooth tannins that creep up towards the end of the swallow. Figs and sultanas come through on the finish that I wish was slightly longer. Very sippable.

Opened on a warm day, I actually struggled to guess the grape. BlankBottle choose not to include the varietal on the label - Pieter Walser, the winemaker, insists that you enjoy the wine for what it is, rather than preempt its characteristics. In fact, the back label states:

'BLANK out the cultivar - remove preconceptions. As we all know, clothes maketh not the man.'

I popped half the bottle in the fridge, still puzzling over the grape. The next evening, while sipping at the chilled wine, I started to fully appreciate it. But eventually caved and had a look at his website. It was mostly Cabernet Franc, with a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

I usually look for pencil shavings as my clue to Cabernet Franc...along with red fruits, dark chocolate and a deep red colour. But I didn’t detect any of this. Lesson learned! Don’t rely on only pencil shavings!

Final thoughts:

I was wondering if there's a word that describes both pleasure and sadness at the same time. Ambivalent was the word that the thesaurus suggested - but but that didn't feel quite right. Bittersweet? A much better fit for how I feel each time I open a BlankBottle wine. Bitter because I'm opening a bottle that I may never be able to find again. But so very sweet because I adore every facet of these wines - from the winemaking, to the stories behind the wines, to the beautifully handcrafted labels. All made by a man who follows his own path. 'My Eie Stofpad' translates to My Own Dust Road).

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