Cloof are in the Swartland region in an area around the village of Darling that achieved Wine of Origin Ward status in 2003. Darling of Origin ~ Darling by Nature is now Cloof's slogan.
Cloof Inkspot Vin Noir 2005
And intensely black this wine is. It is 78% Pinotage, 12% Shiraz, 10% Cinsaut. The oldest vines were planted more than forty years ago. Oscar says the bush vines are not irrigated and thus their roots descend more than 8 metres looking for water, and yield less than a litre per vines. Add to that, 30% of the Cinsaut juice was removed before fermentation (it went to make a pink wine) and you get a concentrated wine. I'm getting a tannic nose, and powerful mouthfilling flavours of liquorice, smoked meats and macerated cherries with some wood tannins on the finish. "There's a lot of structure from the Pinotage," says Oscar, who tells me that Platter awarded it 4 stars in the 2008 guide.
Cloof seem to have a pretty slick sales operation, the wines are widely distributed, and you can buy through their websites in South Africa and the UK. I'm presenting more tastings soon and I think I'll try ordering from the UK site. Inkspot retails at around 45R in ZA and £8.99 in the UK.