Radford Dale Thirst – The Winery of Good Hope
Region: South Africa - Stellenbosch
Price:~$18.99 Pair With: TAKE IT EASY - THE EAGLES
Trump bombed Syria. Ash is raining from local wildfires. I’m coughing up dust. My credit card bill is due. And I just saw some guy carrying a cross yelling “ARE YOU READY?!”.
Happy Friday the 13th - it’s time for a drink.
When things go to shit, they really go to shit. Some of us will give it a laugh, pour a glass of wine and say, “that’s the way the world works”. Others go into overdrive and attempt to control or correct the situation. Winemakers, without a doubt, fall into the second category.
In a winery, things go great until your skating over a cliff. A fermentation will be humming along then BOOM – acid is out of balance, your yeast dies off, there’s too much sulfur, or maybe not enough – your wine is ruined. Modern winemaking has developed techniques to control some of these variables and winemakers use them like tools in a toolbox. But with too much manipulation and reformulation a wine can be robbed of its unique flavor and taste.
A growing number of wineries are producing “natural wines”. Which just means a wine with minimal additions or tweaks. It’s all naturaaal – you can imagine how it sells at Whole Foods.
You might assume natural wine is the path for lazy winemakers but it takes a massive amount of self-control and discipline. There’s so much uncertainty when creating this style of wine. For instance, using native yeasts that are found in the vineyard can lead to temperature sensitivity. Winemakers have been found by the morning crew asleep, or passed out, next to a fermenting tank with temperature gauge in-hand. These guys are kind of like tweakers, resisting the urge to shoot up and modify their wine. They have a full toolbox but can't use the tools. The result, when things go well, is a beautifully crafted wine that can show a depth of flavor, character and personality.
The 2017 “Thirst” Cinsault by the Winery of Good Hope is all about resisting the urge to control. These South African boys let mother nature take charge and don’t intervene. The result is a bright wine packed with sour-cranberry and dark-cherry. It seems to almost sparkle in your mouth and has a great funky character that raises your eyebrows.