‘Trousseau: Demanding variety making powerful, ageworthly wines and having a complex geographical distribution and many aliases, including Bastardo.’ – Wine Grapes: A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours
In truth, SA’s first Bastardo is closer in style to the Trousseau expression from Jura – the eastern French region which is considered the home of the variety. It was only recently discovered to have been cultivated for the last two centuries in Spain and Portugal under different names, however, including Bastardo – arguably the coolest name for any grape variety. The Iberian versions are slightly darker but still medium-bodied and morish, while the Jura style is a touch lighter and more savoury. We suggest the delicious 2017 Vinicole d’Arbois Trousseau if you would like a comparison.
After a long stint at Morgenster and now the winemaker at Mulderbosch, Henry Kotzé’s first wine under Pilgrim Wines is the Bastardo do Castello 2017. It comes from 66 vines planted in the decomposed red and brown granitic soils on the slopes of Stellenbosch mountain. This produced just 150 bottles and we are most impressed! It has loads of character with a unique flavour profile. Expect orange peel, lavender, cherry and a meaty complexity. It’s an exciting new addition to the Cape wine scene. Henry gives you the run-down here.
The 2019 Chenin Blanc is another brilliant rendition of the Cape’s signature white variety; this time from the Voor Paardeberg. It is a very pure, clean-cut expression with just enough savouriness and remarkable depth. There is also some skin contact which adds lovely texture. It offers killer value from a superb white wine vintage.
Pilgrim, Bastardo do Castello 2017
Bastardo Do Castello is the name that the local authorities insist on for what is more generally known as Trosseau, a variety that has featured prominently in the renaissance of the Jura region of France and is meant to be make wine reminiscent Pinot Noir. Grapes for this come from a small planting in Stellenbosch – only 150 bottles made. 100% whole-bunch fermented and matured for 24 months in a third-fill barrel. On the nose, red cherry, herbs and spice plus a hint of cola. The palate is none too light (alcohol is 14.5%) but is full of flavour. Pure and zesty with lightly grippy tannins, this has plenty of intrigue. – Christian Eedes, 91/100
Pilgrim, Chenin Blanc 2019
Grapes from Voor Paardeberg. One-third fermented on the skins for six days. White and yellow fruit, a little earthiness and some yeasty complexity on the nose while the palate has concentrated fruit, bright acidity and a savoury finish. Substantial and satisfying. – Christian Eedes, 93/100