The name harks back to Pieter's first attempts at producing this Pinot, when he had a clear vision for the wine, and totally missed, and thus called it 2 clicks off! Now much closer to a "proper" Pinot in terms of aromatics, flavour profile and weight, Pieter's pretty confident they're now just 1 click off, hence the fantastic label. This is a very pretty Pinot with a heavenly red-frutied perfume: tiny wild strawberries muddled with spice, hint of cinnamon, pot pourri and cherry cola. It's a vineyard that Pieter has played a long game with and invested in hugely, employing one of SA's greatest viticulturists who also works with Eben Sadie, and the efforts are certainly beginning to speak.
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.
FROM THE PRESS
“Pinot Noir, of which 60% is aged in new 300-litre oak but you would never know. Pieter Walser's beloved cooper is the tiny Mittelberger in Bozen, northern Italy. They taste the wine and then suggest the best barrel type. Pale crimson. Both pretty and savoury at the same time. Fine fruit and subtlest of oak. Rich and full in the mouth, lovely fruit with a savoury edge and a sweet-fruited finish. Smooth and refined and just fresh enough, a bit of heat on the finish. Little sign of the oak except the roundness and gentle savoury spice. Give it time. Drink 2023-2027”Julia Harding MW, Jancisrobinson.com