31 October 2018

WoTM - Diemersfontein 'Reserve Collection' 2015 Pinotage

My Wine of the Month for October is Diemersfontein 'Reserve Collection' 2015 Pinotage.

This is exclusive to Woolworth in South Africa which is where I got it.

Diemersfontein is famous for its popular 'coffee and chocolate' Pinotage which they invented, but they also make the superb traditionally styled 'Carpe Diem' Pinotage.

Though this has been, according to the back label, especially blended for Woolworths by their wine expert Allan Mullins, it's in the same camp as Carpe Diem.

The wine is intensely coloured with a spicy nose. It's soft yet there's welcome structure of tannin on the finish. It offers flavours of cream and cherries, there is a hint of chocolate and an overall delicious spicyness. A lovely wine.

13 October 2018

Today is Pinotage Day

Today is International Pinotage Day

What will you be drinking?

04 October 2018

Lovingston 10 Vintages of Pinotage Tasting

Lovingston Winery, near Charlottesville, Virginia, are holding a vertical tasting of their  estate-grown Pinotage on Saturday, Oct. 6th from 11am-5pm. 

10 vintages from 2006 onwards will be poured. There are limited quantities of most years, so they suggest arriving early.  

For questions, please email Stephanie at info@lovingstonwinery.com or call 424-263-8467.


30 September 2018

WoTM - Beyerskloof Faith 2009

My WoTM for September is Beyerskloof 'Faith' 2009 Cape Blend. This is presented in a statement bottle with deep punt and weighing 1.2Kg when empty, more than a full bottle of their standard wines. The word Faith dominates the label, with Beyerskloof in small grey letters in the bottom corner. Run your fingers over the yellow italics to feel a rough surface. The name is created crushed gravel from Beyerskloof's vineyards.

2009 is a blend of 37% Pinotage, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon,27% Merlot and 3% Shiraz. After 9 years bottle aging this is a complex smooth delight. Pinotage sweetness tempered by the Cabernet and Merlot, with its spicyness enhanced by Shiraz. It's lightfooted despite its 15% abv, thrillingly linear with plenty of spicy blackberry and red plum fruits.

A truly delicioius food wine.

Technical fact sheet is here.

As well as Beyerskloof's faith in their terroir, Faith is the name of a charity set up by Beyers Truter to combat Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. See http://faithfund.co.za/

12 September 2018

Beyerskloof Wins IWSC Pinotage Trophy 2018

Beyerskloof has won the 2018 IWSC  Pinotage Trophy, sponsored by the Pinotage Association,  for Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2014  which IWSC judges praised for its “great concentration of flavours on the palate, silky smooth texture, and long finish with a hint of chocolate”.

La Cave Pinotage 2017, WO Wellington, won Gold Outstanding and Gold medals were awarded to De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2016, WO Durbanville and Wildekrans Estate Pinotage 2016, WO Bot River

Beyerskloof's Faith,WO Stellenbosch, Cape Blend won Gold Outstanding for the 2015 vintage and Gold medals for its 2014 and 2011 vintages. 

Congratulations to Anri and Beyers Truter, the Beyerskloof team and all the winners

All the medal and trophy winners are listed at https://iwsc.net/result/search

31 August 2018

Cape Blend 2018 Competition Winners

Winners of the 2018 Perold-Absa Cape Blend Competition,  presented by the Pinotage Association and Absa are:

KWV Abraham Perold Tributum 2014
WO Coastal: Shiraz,  Pinotage, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon,  Petit Sirah. Winemaker Louwritz Louw.
Leipzig Master Blend 2017
WO Western Cape : Pinotage, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot. Winemaker: Vian Bester.
Lyngrove Platinum Latitude 2016
WO Stellenbosch: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz. Winemaker:  Danie van Tonder.
Pulpit Rock Louisa Reserve 2014
WO Swartland: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot. Winemaker:  Dewald Huisamen.
Wildekrans Cape Blend Barrel Select Reserve 2015
WO Botrivier: Pinotage, Shiraz , Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir . Winemaker: Braam Gericke

Runners up: 
Anura Signature Cape Cuveé 2015
WO Paarl: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz . Winemaker: Stander Mass .
Beyerskloof Faith  2015
WO Stellenbosch : Pinotage , Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot . Winemaker:  Anri Truter.
Blake’s  Amethyst 2016
WO Swartland : Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot. Winemaker: Christoph Blake
Pulpit Rock Louisa Reserve 2015
WO Swartland: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot. Winemaker: Dewald Huisamen .
Wellington Wines – La  Cave Cape Blend 2016
WO Wellington: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz. Winemaker: Francois van Niekerk.

The judges were Jacques Roux (marketing director of DGB), Fred Viljoen and Johan Malan (proprietors and cellarmasters at Viljoensdrift and Simonsig respectively), Susan Erasmus (Laffort), Brad Gold (CWM) and winemaker Guy Webber.  

This the eighth year of the competition and there were 51 contestents. A Cape Blend must consist of 30-70% Pinotage, all 5 winners included Cabernet Sauvignon in their blend.  

De Wet Viljoen, vice-chair of the Pinotage Association, said the competition is a testament of the bright future of Cape Blends. He added that the quality of the finalists this year was truly phenomenal and the wines show balance, elegance and structure that will carry the wines with aging.  Winemakers spend a lot of time and compassion to create their blends and the fact that these wines are sold at premium prices also indicate the seriousness of the wines. 

Congratulations to all. 

17 August 2018

Pinotage Top 10 Winners - 2018

Winners of 2018 Absa Pinotage Top 10 Competition are

Allée Bleue Black Series Old Vine Pinotage 2016
WO Piekenierskloof (Franschhoek cellar), Winemaker Van Zyl du Toit

Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2015
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Anri Truter

Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2017
WO Durbanville, Winemaker Thys Louw

Fairview Primo Pinotage 2016
WO Paarl, Winemaker Anthony de Jager

Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2016
WO Breedekloof (Somerset West cellar), Winemaker Gerhard Swart

Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2015
WO Bottelary-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Danie Steytler

Kanonkop Pinotage 2013
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage 2016
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Danie van Tonder

Môreson The Widow Maker Pinotage 2015
WO Stellenbosch (Franschhoek cellar), Winemaker Clayton Reabow

Rijk's Reserve Pinotage 2014
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl

Beyers Truter, chairman and founder of the Pinotage Association, highlighted that Pinotage’s quality is on the upsurge and that the market for wines made from this cultivar continues to grow. 
“Looking at the quality of wine from the 20 finalists this year, our winemakers are undoubtedly on the right course to grow Pinotage’s popularity.  Not only are they embracing the grape’s unique characteristics and learning how to best treat it in the vineyard and in the cellar, but they are also determined to continue improving its quality and educating South African consumers and the rest of the world about the superb wine it produces.”
Beyers said winemakers are now in sync with their terroir and that this is one of the most important ingredients of the success recipe. “The Pinotage Association’s Vision2025 endeavours to get all stakeholders in sync with regards to Pinotage research, knowledge transfer and marketing. We want to double Pinotage’s contribution to the economy in the period ending in 2025, when Pinotage will be celebrating its centenary.”
Winners of  the Museum Class category for Pinotages more the ten years old are:

Kanonkop Pinotage 2006
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar
Neethlingshof Lord Neethling Pinotage 2003
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker De Wet Viljoen

Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2008
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl

One of the judges, Samarie Smith, said the quality of the wines in this category was phenomenal, with judges giving near-perfect scores for some of the wines.  

Kanonkop Estates  Top 10 win was  a record breaking  13th
Rijk’s won their 12th  trophy this year.
Beyerskloof has won 8 times, Flagstone 6 times and Môreson 5 times