04 June 2024

WoTM - Stellenrust Pinotage


My Wine of The Month for May is Stellenrust Pinotage 2021 and 2022.

We had the 2021 vintage at our favourite Asian restaurant, Chez Mumtaj. We've enjoyed it there several times in the past but in May this year it was sublime. Good fruit flavours with just a hint of coffee being ground. And of course, it went very well with our subtly spiced Lamb Rogan Josh.

Our local Tesco supermarket had it in their Finest range, but this was the 2022 vintage. It was delightful, but not quite to the level of the 2021. So I've bought more to open in one years time in the expectation that another year in the bottle will bring it to the heights of the 2021 this year. 

01 May 2024

WoTM - Cloof Inkspot 2019


My Wine of The Month for April is Cloof Inkspot 2019. The bottle is festooned with stickers but it seems they were awarded by only two organisations.

The bottle has no information on what grape varieties are in it, but the man in the shop I got it from told me that it was a Cape Blend. According to Cloof's website they are Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Platter says there is a little Viognier as well.

The wine is quite firm with layers of fruit and a spine of tannins. It's well made but somehow just not very moreish and it's the first bottle in a long time that we don't finish.

31 March 2024

WoTM - Bellevue 1953 -Vintage 2016 Pinotage

 My Wine of The Month for March is Bellevue '1953', vintage 2016.

Bellevue are a Pinotage pioneer, making the wine that was the first to be sold commercially under the Stellenbosch Family Winery brand 'Lanzerac'.

Now the old vineyard, with its twisted bush vines growing on sandy soil is having its grapes bottled separately under the year '1953' it was planted. It is one of the worlds oldest existing Pinotage vineyards. 

Only 600 bottles of 2016 vintage were produced. After nine years the wine is stately and serious. Like a fine old claret with a rounder body. The sweetness and youthful fruit has left and this wine demands a good steak or roasted loin of beef. Delicious.


I last had this wine at Bellevue's restaurant in 2018 when it was young and I bought a bottle home with me which I've kept till now.

See here for my report on that lunch and here for the announcement of the bottling

29 February 2024

WoTM - DeWaal 'Top of the Hill' 2015


My Wine of The Month for February is DeWaal 'Top of the Hill' Pinotage 2015. This is from the world's oldest Pinotage vineyard, literally at the crown of a hill. 

The vines were planted in 1950, so they were 65 years old when this wine was made.

I've stored it since buying in 2018 and at nine years of age the wine has thrown off the fruits of youth and developed a fine Claret-like flavour. It was an excellent example of how good Pinotage develops as it ages.

31 December 2023

WoTM – The Wine Society Pinotage-Syrah 2023



My Wine of The Month for December is The Society’s South African Pinotage-Syrah 2023. This is made, labelled and bottled for UK’s The Wine Society by Ben Radford and Alex Dale at The Winery of Good Hope.


I remember, many years ago, Guy Webber at Stellenzicht Winery making an equal blend of Pinotage and Syrah he thought was the best wine he’d produced, and I agreed the two varieties were complementary. It was a big flavoursome wine, so I had big hopes for this.


It’s young; the grapes were still on the vines at the year’s beginning. It’s a pale translucent red and only 13% abv. It’s pleasant enough, but one taster thought it ‘stalky’. I didn’t get that, but found it a bit thin. It doesn’t seem to show varietal characteristics. It seems from the back label’s suggestion to serve cool that The Wine Society wanted a Beaujolais-Nouveau like wine. If it was served by the glass as a pub house wine I’d be happy, but with dinner I want more oomph.

22 December 2023

RIP Pierre Loubser


Pierre in 2019

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Pierre Loubser, retired Manager of The Pinotage Association. 

He had a bad fall in his home and died in hospital on 22 December 2023.

As Manager of  newly formed Pinotage Association he was very good to The Pinotage Club,  gaining entry to otherwise closed wineries and arranging meetings with winemakers. 

A friendship developed between us and we met every time I made my annual trip to the Cape. I lunched twice with him earlier this year. The last  time I saw him was at Jordan Estate in March this year.

Pierre's had suffered several years of declining  health and he was quite frail but his wits were as sharp as ever.

I shall miss his company. 

Pierre Johan Loubser

Gebore: 29 Oktober 1939 Oorlede: 22 Desember 2023


21 December 2023

Platter 2024

Platter's South African Wine Guide 2024  Pinotage of the year is L'Avenir Single Block 2020 and its Cape Blend is Beyerskloof Faith 2020.

The following Pinotages got the top 5 Star rating

  • Fairview Primo 2021
  • Francois van Niekerk 2021
  • Kanonkop Black Label 2021
  • Kanonkop 2021
  • Lanzerac Commemorative 2019
  • L'Avenir Single Block 2020
  • Survivor Reserve 2021

The following Cape Blends got the top 5 Star rating

  • Beaumont Vitruvian 2019
  • Beyerskloof Faith 2020
  • Beyerskloof Faith 2019
  • Nuiba Third Post 2019
  • Opstal Carl Everson Cape Blend 2021

Congratulations to all.