18 September 2005

Harvest Report - 2005 Best Ever for Pinotage

Beaumont dedicated their 2005 vintage to Hope Marguerite Beaumont "who has been an inspirational figure for us all and is the namesake of the Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc that we harvested on her 90th birthday this year." Winemaker Sebastian Beaumont reports that the "2005 harvest has been a combination of good luck and hard work. A dry winter, no snow, then rain and lightning to spark the vines to life in spring had us guessing as to what this vintage was going to deliver.

"High nitrogen levels due to the lightning gave lots of healthy strong growth that we kept in check with good canopy management and early exposure of the bunches to the sun. This was followed by a dry summer, with rain only in February, resulting in small berries and a lighter crop especially on the Pinotage and Tinta Barocca.

"We had to be patient with the reds leaving them to reach full tannin ripeness until the sugars were nicely balanced with the acid levels. Great analysis, and even better flavours and structures show wines with good ageing potential. The Pinotage is very similar to ’04 with lovely cherry and strawberry fruit backed by good structure and fine tannins."

Beaumont also use Pinotage in their port. Sebastian says "A few pairs of size 13 feet helped the smaller feet successfully stomp the Pinotage and Tinta Barocca grapes at our annual port stomp this year. The resulting port is rich with Christmas pudding and stewed fruit aromas and is slowly marrying with the wood matured grape spirits that were used for fortification."

Beyers Truter, chairman of the Pinotage Association, says "2005 is one of the best vintages ever for Pinotage wines due to the difficult weather conditions during the ripening and harvesting season which created small grapes with intensive colour and flavour"

Abé Beukes, winemaker at Darling Cellars: “Once again this is a vintage characterised by variation. It is a soft, drinkable vintage, but don’t try to keep the wines five or ten years in the bottle. I am very satisfied with the Sauvignon blanc and the Pinotage, because they were picked relatively early, before the heat wave and the rain."


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