30 June 2015

WoTM - J Vineyard's Pinotage 2010

My Wine of the Month for June is J Vineyard & Winery’s Pinotage 2010, grown and made on the estate in California’s Russian River.
This had redcurrant flavours and a lightness of fruits which danced over the reality of its 14.7% abv. Develops complexity and had a long silky finish. Delicious.

J Vineyards discovered they had a 2.8 acre Pinotage plot in the Backdoor Vineyard when Judy Jordan bought the property intending to specialise in traditional-method sparkling wines. 

Pinotage is sold exclusively in their tasting room and it has gathered many fans, quickly selling out each vintage. 

I’ve visited J Vineyards twice and brought this home from my 2012 trip. It cost $48.50 including tax and 620 cases were made. 

10 June 2015

Guillermo Pinotage tasted

I recently tasted Painted Wolf’s 2011 Guillermo Pinotage in the company of chief wolf Jeremy Borg. 
It’s intensity  reminded me of an Italian reciota. Jeremy explained that 10% of the grapes were vinified separately, whole bunched were fermented with their stems in a floating lid tank which was closed when almost dry and left for 6 weeks before pressing. After a year’s maturation this “super super high dry extract” was blended into the wine.

Billy (Guillermo) and Penny Hughes grow the grapes in their vineyard which is now certified organic, although it was in conversion at the time of the 2011 vintage.

I’ve drunk and enjoyed previous vintages of Guillermo Pinotage, and this one is a interesting tweak on a winning formula

07 June 2015

Pinotage on Tap 2015 Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for 2015 POT - Pinotage on Tap, celebrating  the coffee'n'chocolate Pinotage created by Diemersfontein. This is the 11th consecutive year of this great wine, music and food festival.

Dates are

  • 29  August:  Johannesburg at Val Bonne Country Estate in Modderfontein 
  • 19 September: Durban festival  The Litchi  Orchard in Salt Rock
  • 10 October: Grand finale at Diemersfontein Estate in Wellington, just 70km from Cape Town. Fittingly this event will take place on  International Pinotage Day.  
Full details, costs and how to book are  here

06 June 2015

Meerendal 1978 Magnums

This wooden case once held 6 magnums of 1978 Meerendal Pinotage.  Bruce Metelerkamp in New Zealand who  sent me the photo, still uses the box to store wine.

05 June 2015

Tormentino Tasted

Tormentino is a name new to me. It is is a premium brand of MAN Vintners.

I recently tasted their  2013 Bush Vine Pinotage was pale red and medium bodied with soft sweet ripe fruits and spices. 

Closed with real cork, Coastal Wine of Origin, 14% abv.

The name comes from "Cabo Tormentoso" (translated as “Stormy Cape” or “Cape of Storms”), the original name for the Cape of Good Hope given to it by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomieu Dias who first rounded the Cape in 1488. 

31 May 2015

WoTM Kanonkop 1995

My Wine of the Month for May is Kanonkop Pinotage 1995. Twenty years old and at peak perfection, this is a superb wine with a perfect balance of restrained fruits and soft tannins with a long sweet finish.

Irritatingly the cork broke, a recurring issue with old Kanonkops – I said back in 2007, after a 1999 cork crumbled, that would drink up my remaining 1995s aft. Well, I forgot so I was able to enjoy this superb wine – my last of this vintage. But I’d have preferred it without cork debris in the first glass.

Note the pleasingly uncluttered back label, today’s vintages are now graffitied with health and allergy warnings.

I don't know when I bought this, but it was before 2005 and has an unnamed shop's price label showing I paid £11.


20 May 2015

Abraham and the Heretics

Just launched is Abraham and the Heretics, a new Pinotage created by Richard Kelley MW for  importer Dreyfus Ashby intended for independent stores where it should retail at under £10.

Abraham is A I Perold, creator of Pinotage and the front represents him addressing a group of Pinotage sceptics while the back label quotes Helen Keller “The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next”.

I tasted the first vintage, 2013 and found a most approachable and drinkable wine with soft ripe juicy fruits, feels light bodied although has 14% abv.

Richard (above) says Abraham and the Heretics is something of a tongue-in-cheek challenge to Pinotage non-believers to accept the variety into their vinous lives.