With stunning black fruit, cedar, graphite and sweet peppery spice matched with a cool meatiness to the nose, this is a very drinkable wine - don't let the name put you off! The fruit is ripe on the palate but doesn't shout at you, with a gentle hint of green and savoury meaty note and just enough tannins - a great BBQ wine for sure. This year, it's a blend of 7 vineyards, with neither of the high elevation Ceres vineyards being included due to a fire close by to the sites close to harvest, with a smudge of Cab Franc too. The wine was born as a lighthearted 'strike back' against the Swartland Revolution, when Rhone blends were suddenly thrust centre stage, and Bordeaux blends of Stellenbosch and all Cab suddenly became 'uncool'. Pieter thought he would devote some time to the iconic grape variety, and what a great job he's done.
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.