31 December 2020

WoTM Kanonkop Estate Pinotage 2015

 My Wine of the Month for December is Kanonkop Estate Pinotage 2005.

We enjoyed this on Christmas Day with roast turkey, roast parsnip and potatoes, steamed brussels sprouts, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, sage & onion stuffing balls and Yorkshire pudding.

I had the 2010 and 2000 vintages ready as we had planned for wine, and Pinotage, loving family to join us, but a late change to Covid rules meant we dined on our own. 

The 2015 was at a perfect stage, with everything in balance and plenty of fruit. Smooth and delicious, we look forward to a happier time in 2021 when we will open another bottle of it and then the older ones for our guest.

Goodbye 2020....

23 December 2020

Meerendal Pinotage Tasting Menu

 Meerendal's Restaurant, Il Tesoro, is serving a five course Pinotage Wine Pairing Dinner on Thursdays. They say booking is essential; phone number is on the website here

Video - Meerendal Winemaker Tastes Pinotage

Meerendal winemaker Thys Smit (above) tastes Meerendal Estate Pinotage in this short video.

The vintage is not identified and the label not clearly shown, so seems to be a generic description of the wine style rather than specific.

13 December 2020

Jancis Chooses Springfontein Pinotage for Xmas

 Jancis Robinson MW's list of recommended Christmas wines includes one Pinotage.

She says  

These celebratory reds  ...... should deliver pleasure and relative value. Even the 15 percenters taste well balanced and appetising

Springfontein, Terroir Selection Pinotage 2016 Walker Bay, South Africa 15%

Very sweet and vital ..... amazingly well balanced. A very superior Pinotage.

First published in her column in The Financial Times and available in full on her website.  


07 December 2020

Loma Prieta Sold

Loma Prieta Winery, California's largest Pinotage producer, has new owners.

Loma Prieta was founded by Paul and Amy Kemp in 2000. Paul soon fell in love with Pinotage, grafting all his estate Cabernet, Merlot and eventually Pinot Noir vines to Pinotage and leasing Pinotage vineyards on other parts of the State. 

Paul made three vineyard specific Pinotages, Amorosa and Karma Vineyards in Lodi and Sierra Ridge Vineyard in Suttervillein addition to his estate Pinotage, and was the first anywhere to produce a sparkling white Pinotage, which was made by the traditional method.

Paul Kemp died on 1 July 2018.

Loma Prieta has been bought by Chris Arriaga, a real estate developer and former U.S. Marshal. He and his daughter, Samantha, both residents of Saratoga, will continue to operate the winery under its existing name, retaining all staff, reports The San Jose Mercury News.  

Full Story here

30 November 2020

WoTM - Babylon's Peak The Wedge Pinotage 2018

 My Wine of the Month for December is The Wedge Pinotage 2018 (WO Swartland).

I've had a couple of Pinotages this month that were new to me and which I won't be buying again,  but will be getting more of this one.

The Wedge is named after a California beach by Newport Harbour famed by surfers for huge waves which can reach 30ft high.

The Wedge has its own website www.thewedgewines.com which lists five wines under The Wedge's retro surfing labels, but the wine is made by Babylon's Peak winery.

This is the first wine I've had from this winery, and wow! Dense black red colour, intense in the glass with black cherry and damson flavours with a thread of mocha and black chocolate. Really exciting.

So how come I hadn’t encountered this winery before when that label says Est 1925 and the website of Babylon's Peak says Anno 1919? The family may have started farming then but the high A number (A1062) shows they are recent and Platter says they started making wine in 2003.

14 November 2020

Kanonkop Black Label 2018 - Video

Kanonkop Cellar Master Abrie Beeslaar announces the launch of the 2018 Black Label Pinotage, with a tasting note and a bit of history about how and why Kanonkop decided to bottle their old 1953 vineyard separately as Black Label.

The winery made this video restricted. Click on the link to view it on YouTube

The fact sheet for Kanonkop Estate Black Label 2018 is here.

13 November 2020

Platter 2021 5 Star Pinotages

The Platter Guide to South African Wines has announced its 5 star wines in the forthcoming 2021 annual guide, the 41st, to online subscribers.

All are listed by Angela Lloyd, the Guide’s longest serving taster, here.

Six Pinotages and two Cape Blends received the 5 Star accolade. They are


1953 Single Vineyard Pinotage 2018

Pinotage Reserve 2017  


Diesel Pinotage 2018


Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017


Pinotage The Journal 2018

Pinotage Reserve 2019  

Cape Blends

Beyerskloof   Faith 2016

KWV The Mentors Perold 2017