31 August 2021

Winners - 2021 Pinotage Top 10



The ten winners of the 2021 ABSA Pinotage Top 10 Competition was announced today at a ceremony live streamed. They are:


Beeslaar Pinotage 2018

Stellenbosch

Abrie Beeslaar


Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2018

Stellenbosch

Anri Truter


Diemersdal The Journal Pinotage 2019

Durbanville

Thys Louw


Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2018

Breedekloof

Gerhard Swart


Francois van Niekerk Pinotage 2019

Coastal

Francois van Niekerk


La Cave Pinotage 2018

Wellington

Francois van Niekerk


Môreson Widow Maker 2018

Stellenbosch

Clayton Reabow


Neethlingshof Estate Pinotage 2020

Stellenbosch

De Wet Viljoen


Stellenbosch 1679 Pinotage 2019

Stellenbosch

Nicolas Husselman/Handré Visagie


Stellenrust Cornerstone Pinotage 2019

Stellenbosch

Tertius Boshoff



The ceremony can be viewed here  awards start 29 minutes in.

 

WoTM - Durbanville Hills Pinotage 2017

 My Wine of The Month for August is Durbanville Hills Pinotage 2017. I had this in The Park Hotel, Montrose, Scotland. We were on the trail of ancestors. Montrose is on the coast and is the site of the Britain's first military operational airbase opened in February 1913 for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), later renamed Royal Air Force ( RAF). It finally closed in 1952 having seen aeroplanes from the first canvas and string bi-planes to jets.


After visiting the museum on the site we walked along Montrose's beautiful beaches backed by sand dunes but bitter winds and drizzle kept sunbathers away.


In The Parks dining room it was a real delight to see an excellent Pinotage on a wine list - the only Pinotage in our almost two weeks in Scotland and Northern England, and we had to have it.



It was a double pleasure, when the wine was delivered to our table, to see it had some age being some five years old. And it was drinking beautifully. Sleek and sophisticated, with dark plums to the fore and a long aftertaste. And finished all too soon. 



13 August 2021

Pinotage Top 10 2021 - Finalists

The 20 finalists in this year's Absa Top 10 Pinotage are:

Beeslaar Pinotage 2018

Stellenbosch

Abrie Beeslaar


Beeslaar Pinotage 2019

Stellenbosch

Abrie Beeslaar


Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2018

Stellenbosch

Anri Truter


Beyerskloof Winemakers Reserve Pinotage 2018

Stellenbosch

Anri Truter


Bowwood Pinotage 2017

Voor-Paardeberg

Matthew Copeland


Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2020

Durbanville

Thys Louw


Diemersdal The Journal Pinotage 2019

Durbanville

Thys Louw


Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2018

Breedekloof

Gerhard Swart


Francois van Niekerk Pinotage 2019

Coastal

Francois van Niekerk


Kanonkop Pinotage 2019

Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

Abrie Beeslaar


La Cave Pinotage 2018

Wellington

Francois van Niekerk


Môreson Widow Maker 2018

Stellenbosch

Clayton Reabow


Neethlingshof Estate Pinotage 2020

Stellenbosch

De Wet Viljoen


Neil Ellis Bottelary Hills Pinotage 2019

Stellenbosch

Warren Ellis


Piekenierskloof Johan van Zyl Pinotage 2019

Piekenierskloof

Jaco van Niekerk


Rijk's Reserve Pinotage 2015

Tulbagh

Pierre Wahl


Rijk's Reserve Pinotage 2016

Tulbagh

Pierre Wahl


Simonsig Pinotage Redhill 2018

Stellenbosch

Michael Malan


Stellenbosch 1679 Pinotage 2019

Stellenbosch

Nicolas Husselman/Handré Visagie


Stellenrust Cornerstone Pinotage 2019

Stellenbosch

Tertius Boshoff


With over 133 entries received in the 2021 Pinotage Top 10, Pinotage Association chair Beyers Truter is not only delighted with the quality of the wines but also that they represent the vast Cape winelands.


The Museum class received over 10 entries.  The association encourages producers to enter this category, which truly showcases the aging potential of Pinotage wines.


The 2021 Judging panel is: Winnie Bowman, Carl Schultz, Frans Smit, Solly Monyamane, Johann Fourie and Elmarie Botes.  


The awards ceremony on 31 August will be steamed live on Facebook at midday.

31 July 2021

WoTM - Grayhaven Pinotage

My Wine of the Month for August is Pinotage from Grayhaven Vineyard and Winery in Virginia USA.I bought it there when I visited in September 2008. Co-owner Max Peple-Abrams fell in love with Pinotage while in South Africa, where she  met husband Deon Abrams who is winemaker at Grayhaven.



She told me then "We have less than 1/3 acre of Pinotage vines here and have to supplement with Pinotage grapes grown in California. We graft off our existing vines every year to increase our production - it's slow going. To meet the current demand for our Pinotage, we are looking to eventually have about 2000 vines. We thin our crops pretty well so the quality is high but our yield is less than 1/2 of what a large commercial vineyard would get from the same vine count."


This wine, made in 2007 is made with a blend of estate grapes and California grapes, brought to the winery by refrigerated truck, and accounting for its 'American Wine' appellation.


Yet again, I had kept an interesting - and rare - wine for too long. But it was 16% abv so it was still enjoyable. Although totally dry, the high alcohol and Pinotage sweetness gave this wine the feel of Madeira.





30 June 2021

WoTM - Rheboksloof Pinotage 2015

 My Wine of The Month for June is Rhebokskloof Pinotage 2015 WO Paarl.



I had it with an excellent fillet steak in the Café Cru restaurant of The Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth where we spent a few days this month.


I've had the2015 Rheboksloof before, but this was the last bottle of this vintage at the hotel so I doubt I'll have the 2015 again.


Six years old, and matured to perfection, it was magisterial with supple plum and black cherry fruits and soft tannins. A beautiful wine. With steak it made a heavenly match.




31 May 2021

WoTM - The Mentors Pinotage 2017

 My Wine of The Month for May is The Mentors 2017 Pinotage W.O. Coastal




Mentors is the top range in KWV's wine portfolio, and they never disappoint. This 2017 suggests on its back label to age for five to eight years, but it is drinking beautifully now after four years.


There's black fruits, damson come to mind with an intriguing underlying spiciness. It's a mouth filling, rich and satisfying wine. Must get more!





27 May 2021

Consumers Have Moved On

Interesting article in Forbes by Cathy Huyghe who says that many people in the wine business are old fogeys with elephantine negative memories on the subject of Pinotage.


Consumers, in the meantime, have moved on. Far, far on.


It’s a telling discrepancy. On one hand are the traditionalists and their elephantine memories, who cling to negative, decades-old impressions of Pinotage the way former athletes cling to romantic idealizations of their long-ago glory days in sports. Interestingly, this group seems populated more by people in the trade than by casual consumers who comprise the alternate side of the discrepancy, who are more curious and interested in current iterations of today’s wines now rather than the versions of how yesterday’s wines used to be.


Full article  - Old Fogeys Vs The Rest Of Us: Perspectives On Pinotage Wines From South Africa

30 April 2021

WoTM - Van Loveren 'Rhino Run' Pinotage 2018



My Wine of the Month for April is Van Loveren Vineyards 'Rhino Run' Pinotage 2018  WO Robertson.

This was my second bottle. It had a good body and structure under lots of that typical Pinotage sweet fruit.


The label confuses me. The RR logo says Royal Rhino beneath, and the back label says Royal Rhino is a donor towards Rhino conservation but it doesn't say what the connection this wine is.


The website www.rhinorunwine.co.za says "for each bottle sold, a donation is made by Van Loveren Family Vineyards towards the Player Ntombela Foundation", but no mention of Royal Rhino, and the   'spec sheet' doesn't have a vintage tho' it shows an analysis of 14.57%abv, while the 2018 has an abv of 13.5%, also the label says the wine organic.