10 November 2004

London Pinotage Tasting

The Pinotage Club tasted the 2003 Pinotage Top 10 on 9 November 2004. We were glad to welcome as co-host David Brice from Cape Town's Wine Cellar who came laden with wines he'd hand carried from South Africa. The event was fully booked with a waiting list.

As a bonus we started with a tank sample of a new wine from Fairview, a Pinotage fermented with about 4.5% of Viognier. Small amounts of white Viognier have traditionally been fermented with red grapes in the Rhone but science has only recently discovered what French vignerons instinctively knew; a reaction occurs that results in better flavour and colour extraction.

Fairview Pinotage/Viognier 2003 - A very approachable wine with a delightful
palate packed with sweet fruits, redcurrants, rounded and a good finish. This was a tank sample, the wine has not yet been released, but look out for it.

We tasted the 2003 Top 10 in alphabetical order and marked out of 7, my marks are given followed by the group average.

Allee Bleue 2002 - Opaque dense colour, fruity nose, full body, some high acids, good tannins & grip (4 - 4.5)

Bellevue Estate 2002 - Dark fruits, firm tannins and crisp acids, hint of banana (5 - 4.2)

DeWaal 2002 - Sweet berry nose, beautiful purple glass staining colour, dry and tastes duty in the middle palate. (4 - 4.3)

Graham Beck Old Road 2002 - Quite dry on front palate but opens out to reveal nice plummy fuits (4 - 4.3)

Wamakersvallei La Cave 2002 - Oh dear, oh dear. I had so much hopes for this wine which is not available in the UK and which I often enjoyed while in the Cape. But it was stinky corked. (no marks - corked)

L'Avenir Estate 2002 - Delicious ripe fruits, good depth, underpinned with soft tannins (6 - 5.2)

Rijks Private Cellar 2002 - Wonderful sweet fruits on front palate, a bit closed in the middle. (5 - 4.9)

Slaley Hunting Family 2002 - Bright clear, lovely fruits of the forest flavours and spices, long finish (5 - 4.3)

Rooiberg Reserve 2001 - Tangy crisp fruits, interesting, dollops of fruits, spicy. (6 - 4.5)

Stellenzicht Golden Triangle 2001 - Big fruity nose with spices & acids, bit dusty in middle. (5 - 5)

It's difficult to host a discussion while writing notes, hence the bevity of the notes.

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