01 July 2016

WoTM - Te Awa Pinotage 2004

My Wine of the Month for June 2016 is Te Awa Pinotage 2004 from the premium Gimblett Gravels of Hawkes Bay, on New Zealand’s North Island.

This was the last of the Te Awa’s I carried home from New Zealand and it is from a vineyard that is no more. As I reported in December 2014, after Te Awa changed ownership, their block of Pinotage was removed.

This wine I perhaps kept a little too long, After twelve years, it had gained that patina of age, with muted fruit streamlined sweetness and a core of acidity. A delicious food wine. 

Ta Ta Te Awa.

31 May 2016

WoTM - Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2006

 My Wine of the Month for May 2016 is Simonsig ‘Redhill’ Pinotage 2006. 

Pinotage was the first red wine  made by Frans Malan, founder of Simonsig. That was almost 50 years ago and Simonsig are still on the top of the game.

They make two Pinotages: one  unoaked, which isn’t that common, and this one which has seen 14 months in 100% new barriques, 89% French and 11%  American white oak.

Redhill is a single vineyard wine that gets its name from the low hill of red soil  of decomposed weathered shale that rises behind the winery.

This vintage won all the major awards going, including Pinotage Top 10 in 2008 and 5 Platter stars, see photo below.

The back label says this wine will age for 6-8 years after vintage but at 10 years old this still had plenty of life in it. However it’s hard to believe that it could get even better than it is now.

It has the mark of a great mature Pinotage; sophisticated nose with signs of sleek age on the palate with soft tannins, subdued fruit and that delicious fruit sweetness that’s a hall mark of the variety. Soft subtle and very classy. A delight from start to lingering finish.

23 May 2016

Pinotage Plantings Increase 13.4%

Pinotage plantings in South Africa have increased  by 13.41% over the ten years ended 31 December 2015.

Official figures published by SAWIS show there are currently 7364.33ha of Pinotage, meaning it has overtaken both Chardonnay and Merlot to become the sixth most planted variety.

The area planted to wine grapes has fallen every year since its apex in 2006, but the  percentage planted to Pinotage has increased to 7.5% from 6.5% ten years ago.

The top six varieties account for 69% of plantings.

The South African A Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS) report for 31 December 2015 is here

02 May 2016

Matthew Jukes is Moved by Spice Route Pinotage

“I am not a Pinotage fan,” says Matthew Jukes, voted “the most influential wine writer in the UK” in 2011.

But “I taste everything that moves and let you know when a wine moves me and this week it just happens to be a Pinotage.”

It’s Spice Route 2014 Pinotage of which Matthew says:

“Class, spice, damson, cinnamon and plum cavort and the gloss on the palate is remarkable. It’s a steal, too. Reward your palate with a very rare treat this week.”

Read full story at http://moneyweek.com/spice-route-winery-pinotage-south-africa/

30 April 2016

WoTM Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage 2012

My Wine of The Month for April 2016 is Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage 2012.

I've enjoyed some cracking wines from Lyngrove, but I regret the winery is below my radar. I've never visited them, something I must rectify on my next visit to the Cape.

The 2012 was a Pinotage Top 10 Winner in 2013. The last time I tasted it was in 2014 and  I think the wine now is even better and 'a point'.

It has a lovely dark colour with a hint of cedarwood on the nose. In the mouth it is soft with integrated sweet fruit and a tangy finish. 

Fifteen months of  aging in 40% new French oak barrels adds support without dominating. This is a  beautiful elegant wine.

Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage, 2012
ABV: 14.5%
Blend: 100% Pinotage
Region: Stellenbosch
Winemaker: Danielle le Roux 

06 April 2016

Neetlingshof Pinotages separated by 30 years

Christian Eedes, at WineMag.co.za tasted two Pinotages from Neethlingshof with 30 years between them.

The 2014 Owl Post Pinotage had 'lavender and incense, vanilla and spice before red and black fruit' with 'a marmalade quality'  from Hungarian oak. See full review here.

For the 1984 Neethlingshof  Pinotage Christian found

'red and black cherry plus some floral perfume to go with more mature notes of leather, earth and spice. The palate meanwhile was pristine, the fruit still amazingly vibrant and intact.'
See full review here

05 April 2016

South African sparkling wine ... in Santa Cruz?

Mary Orlin, of San Jose Mercury News, was keen to quiz Loma Prieta owner/winemaker Paul Kemp about his new sparkling wine and find out about "Kemp's pinotage obsession".

Read the interview here.

From Loma Prieat Vineyard live video feed