Wine of the Week: Alinea Carignan 2022

Alinea Carignan 2022

A jewel-toned offering of fresh, red-fruited purity.

The word Alinea means “the beginning of a new train of thought”. A highly appropriate description for rising star Natasha Jacka’s wines. The young Cape Town winemaker began her own label in 2021, and is quickly turning heads with her small-batch, unmistakably modern wines.

Case in point, Natasha was recently crowned the winner of the Next Generation Awards sponsored by FedEx Express, convened by Winemag.co.za. This was for her 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, which scored 95 points.

“I enjoy unique varieties and sites. My aim is to create wines that reflect their origin,” says Natasha. “I believe that minimal intervention winemaking allows the wine to speak for itself.”

Choosing a different path

Alinea Carignan 2022 Journey

It was while working as a chef that her interest in wine was piqued. Packing up her knives she joined the Cape Point Vineyards team in 2017. “The plan was to do only the harvest, but I loved it so much I stayed for the entire year.”

In 2020 she graduated top of her class from Elsenburg. “It was during my final year of studying that I planted two vineyards in Noordhoek.” The first block is planted with just 750 vines of stok-by-paaltjie syrah. The second is a white field blend of six different varieties. Both are organically farmed. “2024 was the first year I harvested these blocks.”

When asked why carignan as a single-bottling, Natasha says she’s always “been intrigued by the variety”. “It is quite rare to find it on its own but every time I tasted it, I found that one wine was so different from the other and I was left with more questions than answers. I tasted it in many blends but in order to understand a blend, you need to understand the individual components and what they bring to the table. I really wanted to understand carignan.

“When I saw the site in the Breedekloof it was a done deal. Bush vines planted roughly 350 metres above sea level in rocky soils of sandstone shale and quartz.” 

Alinea Carignan 2022

Alinea Carignan 2022 Bottle

Fresh, red-fruited purity, laced with hibiscus in bloom, a hint of saffron spice. Such remarkable levity and refreshment for a grape that often packs a wallop with alcohol and tannins. Natasha’s light hand has deftly brought to bottle cranberries, cherries, tangy, sappy redcurrants. The tannins are liquid and light, just firm enough to carry the fruit long into the juiced, jewel-toned finish.
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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 26 June 2024