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Revenant Red: The Rebirth of a Classic South African Wine

False Bay Vineyards has released its inaugural vintage of Revenant Red, resulting in a new buzz around a classic South African wine.

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False Bay Vineyards has released its inaugural vintage of Revenant Red, resulting in a new buzz around the classic South African wine | House and Leisure

When you think about red wine from Stellenbosch, you often think of Cabernet Sauvignon. But for decades, a secret ingredient was added to the wine to enhance its flavour. In many of the great, long-lived Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignons of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Cinsault was hidden in the wines. Cinsault wasn't included on the label, but its addition created a sophisticated flavour that added to Cabernet Sauvignon's popularity.

Now, False Bay Vineyards is breathing new life into this blend with their Revenant Red offering - and giving credit where credit is due. 

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This isn't the first wine that False Bay Vineyards has decided to breathe new life into. With Revenant White, it celebrated the glorious rebirth of a lost soul - a blend of Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc that is now rarely blended in France. Revenant Red aims to herald the return of a long-lost Western Cape classic. 

Winemaker Nadia Barnard-Langenegger says, 'Cinsault used to play a major role in many well-known South African Cabernet Sauvignon-based red blends. These elegant wines inspired us to create our revitalised rendition of a quality blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault.' There seems to be a trend of young wine makers, returning to the old ways, and with 350 years of winemaking history in South Africa, there is a lot to unearth.

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This inaugural vintage of Revenant Red was produced for False Bay Vineyards at Waterkloof. It is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cinsault that shows off the beautiful complex fruit of the cooler Helderberg region. You get an abundance of vibrant red fruit in the glass such as red berries and blueberries,  and the wine reveals hints of perfume and dark chocolate. It is gentle and elegant on the palate, reflecting infinite balance to the very end of its long finish. As well as encapsulating the rebirth of tradition in winemaking, Revenant Red also embraces the spirit of ‘new wave’ South African wine.

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