06 March 2007

Dornier's First Pinotage

Dornier Winemaker J C Steyn Dornier is a new winery in Stellenbosch whose first bottling was in 2002. The winery building with a sculptured undulating profile that is reflected in a pool in front and echoed by the edge of its wine labels. And, as I mentioned earlier, Dornier was a runner-up in the 2006 Pinotage Top 10 competition with its first Pinotage from the 2004 vintage.

So I was delighted that my old mate and Pinotage enthusiast Keith Prothero had managed to charm winemaker J C Steyn (pictured left) to spare us some time during harvest to open and taste Pinotage with him.

The 2004 Pinotage costs 60R (4.50GBP/9USD) at the winery. JC told me the vineyards were planted in 1997 and 1998. “We used only the free run juice and the 2004 Pinotage was aged 16 months in second fill oak barrels,” JC said. “And now we are using 12% new oak to see what happens.”
Dornier Winery
The Pinotage had a coffee nose and bright fruit. There was high acidity (“natural” says JC ) and firm tannins on a long lingering finish. I can see why it would stand out at a competition tasting, but I would vigorously decant it before drinking now, but would prefer to keep it for a couple of years.

Dornier is worth a visit now to see its stunning California style building (picture - right) and taste its distinctive wines, and soon it'll be a food destination as they are restoring an old Cape Dutch building on the other side of the pool and will be opening it as a bistro later this year.

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