Savage – Follow the line 2014


I recently tried a wine that I think you may be interested in, it was absolutely delicious.

Savage wines have been causing quite a stir since being released a couple of years ago and for good reason. The man behind them is Duncan Savage who is also the winemaker at Cape Point Vineyards located in Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa.

Duncan Savage

Duncan Savage

Duncan started working for Cape Point after graduating top of his class at Elsenburg Agricultural College in 2002 and has worked vintages in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina as well as four months in the Loire Valley with Sauvignon legend Didier Dagueneau. This has helped him craft some of South Africa’s most elegant and lauded Sauvignon Blanc in the form of Isliedh, a white Bordeaux blend that won Decanter’s best white blend in the world over £15 in 2013 along with many other accolades.

In 2011 he realised the dream of making wine under his family name, done with the full blessing of Cape Point where he still works. Duncan used his contacts to source fruit from selected maritime and high elevation plots around the Western Cape to make two wines; a white Bordeaux blend (70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon), first vintage 2012 and a red blend (72% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 7% Cinsaut), first vintage 2011. These wines were made in very small quantities, 6000 bottles of the white and only 2,700 bottles of the red, which sold out not long after it arrived in London.

“do as little as possible, as much as you can” Duncan Savage on winemaking.

New vintages of the white & red blends recently arrived on our shores along with two new wines, a Syrah which I have yet to have the privilege of drinking and a Cinsaut heavy blend called Follow the line.

Savage Follow the line 2014

This gets its name from Duncan becoming terribly lost while going to visit a new Cinsaut vineyard that he was interested in, he called the farmer who said “volg net die f*kken foon lyn” which loosely translates to follow the line, which he did and managed to find the place. While only making up a small proportion in the Savage red, Cinsaut is given its time to shine here accounting for 58% of the blend with the remainder made up by equal parts Grenache & Syrah. It’s easy to forget how important the Cinsaut grape has been for South Africa, it was the country’s most important grape variety until the end of the sixties and was only overtaken by Cabernet Sauvignon as the Cape’s most planted grape in 1996. Crossed with Pinot Noir to make Pinotage, it is a grape that often does not get sufficient kudos though this is certainly a wine to remind us all of its joys.

Cinsaut on the vine

Cinsaut on the vine

This is a gorgeously perfumed wine full of smoky red and black cherry fruit along with a rose petal floral note, eminently drinkable and suave palate with precise and very fine tannins and a long finish with spice box character that really does hang around on the taste buds. Though it may not be a wine you could write an essay length tasting note on it is one that is just so wonderfully put together and such a pleasure to drink. I’ll have to try and tuck a bottle or two away to see how they develop though I have the feeling that I’ll struggle keeping them out of a glass!

95/100 points

Duncan’s wines are imported by Swig but due to the limited production of this wine you may need to search it out in top restaurants & independent merchants.

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