30 April 2022

WoTM - Durbanville Hills Pinotage 2018 The Promenade Collectors Reserve


My Wine of The Month for April is Durbanville Hills Pinotage 2018 The Promenade Collectors Reserve.

The wine was closed with a DIAM, printed to match the label. The wine was deep ruby red with flowers of the forest on the nose. In the mouth it had a tangy violet richness, with cedarwood on the finish. A delightful wine.

The front label bore a witty picture by artist Theo Paul Vorster

Irritatingly the winery website has only factsheet for their latest vintage, and not the one currently on sale here.

31 March 2022

WoTM - Abraham and the Heretics 2018

My Wine of The Month for March is Abraham and the Heretics Pinotage 2018. I first came across this wine in 2015 at a tasting, but this year I was able to buy it from owner run wine ship Dylanwad in  Dolgellau, Wales. It was the only Pinotage they had. 

Abraham and the Heretics is created by Richard Kelley MW (above) for  importer Dreyfus Ashby and made by Villiera Winery. 2013 was its first vintage. Richard Kelley is known for his Liberator range.

It felt light but was full bodied, lush and smooth with bright berry flavours and just a sight hint of coffee. Very enjoyable and just 13.5% abv.

Richard told me in 2015 “Abraham and the Heretics is something of a tongue-in-cheek challenge to Pinotage non-believers to accept the variety into their vinous lives”

28 February 2022

WoTM - Kanonkop Estate Pinotage 1990

 I've enjoyed several Pinotage this month that were candidates for Wine of the Month, most notably a stunning Spier 21 Gables 2016, but a three nights before the end of the month I was in the midst of moving wine to its new location and decided it was time to open a 1990 Kanonkop   rather than store it away again as the maturation chart on the back label showed it reaching its peak in 2002.

Thus my Wine of the Month for February is - Kanonkop Estate Pinotage 1990 (Stellenbosch).

The cork was spongy and a chunk of it dropped off the bottom and fell into the wine which was gorgeous. Yes, it was aged and the big fruit flavours had gone but it offered delicate fruits and gentle Pinotage sweetness. Usually Mrs M doesn’t go for aged wines and I was prepared to open a more recent wine, but she loved this. And so did I.

And while drinking it I was thinking that 32 years ago its grapes were probably fermenting in Kanonkop's Kuipes.

Note: It’s W.O. Stellenbosch only because it was made before the Simonsberg-Stellenbosch ward - which the estate vineyards are in - hadn’t been created at that time.

08 February 2022

Delheim Pinotage Rosé is wine expert's Valentine tip

Matthew Nugent in The Irish Sun says "I’m a wine expert and these are the top ten wines to treat yourself and a loved one to this Valentine’s Day. Now something light, pink, and possibly sparkling, are the go-to wines to pop on February 14"

The second wine listed is Delheim's Pinotage Rosé about which Matthew Nugent says:

"This pale, salmon pink Rosé has long been a house favourite. Red fruit notes dominate on the nose while the lively palate has excellent acidity and an explosion of red berries in the mouth." 

31 January 2022

WoTM - Robertson Winery ‘Longbeach’ Pinotage 2020

My Wine of the Month for January is - Robertson Winery ‘Longbeach’ Pinotage 2020. I assume Longbeach is the importers own on-trade label, and I’ve only seen it at Dylan’s Restaurant in Criccieth, Wales.

We’ve been drinking it for as many years as Dylan’s has been open, but now it’s come off the list leaving them with no Pinotage - or any South African red - at all. Luckily they had a few unsold bottles out the back which our charming waitress tipped us off about. They now have fewer.

I’m guessing this is Robertson Winery’s basic Pinotage which I’ve had in the Cape. On bitterly cold days by Criccieth beach the warm generosity of this unpretentious wine is most welcome. Light bodied, with cherry and plum flavours it is a great match for food.


31 December 2021

WoTM (and WoTY) - Beyerskloof Pinotage 2019

My Wine of the Month for December – and indeed my Wine of the Year for 2021 is Beyerskloof Pinotage 2019.


This is their entry level Pinotage with a white label, and for the past few vintages it has been bulk-shipped and bottled in England. This keeps down costs, but I’d prefer to have the wine bottled at the winery and keep bottling and associated jobs in the Cape.

It’s a wine to drink, not to overthink. A wine to grab when we get a takeaway from an Indian restaurant, make a curry, or need to grab the nearest wine from the kitchen’s ready rack.

I’ve opened 34 bottles of the 2019 vintage and my elder son has consumed many more. He and his partner became a big fan of Beyerskloof after visiting the winery at the beginning of 2020.

And now, after many years and vintages the wine we buy whenever stock runs low has vanished. We didn’t realise how much we’d miss it.

We’re hoping that it is a blip in the supply chain and that the 2020 vintage will soon be on shelves. But at the moment we cannot get any Beyerskloof Pinotage. I’ve got one bottle left, the son has none.

(The QR Code links to a 'Page not Found')

30 November 2021

WoTM 2018 De Waal Pinotage


My Wine of the Month for November is  De Waal Pinotage 2018. DeWaal have the world's oldest Pinotage vineyard from which they bottle 'The Top of the Hill'. This is their entry level Pinotage. Although I bring home a couple of bottles Top of the Hill rom my trips to the Cape I don't drink much De Waal otherwise solely because I don't see it for sale.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see this bottle on a small section of wines in a garden centre near Edinburgh during a recent Scottish holiday, and I took it to have on a holiday to Devon.

Sealed with a sensible screwcap, so there were no worries about a faulty cork.  The maturation chart on the back label showed it had reach its optimum drinking window. I think it would last well and develop for a further five years, but I've learned that it is better to drink wines too young than too old.

This was just right. A bit of maturity but perky in its youth, deeply coloured and full fruited with damsons and mulberries to the fore. Long finish, very satisfying.

De Waal's website says this wine, which comes from 30 year old vines,  had three months aging in older barrels and a further 14 months in bottle.

Read about my Top of the Hill walk here