07 January 2008

Meeting the Meerkats

I blogged about Meerkat Pinotage some time ago.

Schalk (left) and Tiaan Burger

So I was really pleased to, at long last, taste it and meet the owner and winemaker, father and son team, Schalk and Tiaan Burger of Welbedacht Wines.

TV wildlife programmes made Meerkats such a hit with the viewing public after showed them standing upright on their hind legs looking into the distance like opera goers at Gyndeborne that I wondered how Schalk managed to copyright the meerkat name for his wines. “I registered the name years ago, just in case, because I thought I would make a good label,” he explained.

Meerkat is used as a second label, but although not registered as an Estate Wine, the wine is all grown and made on Welbedacht.

“It is meant to be an easy drinking, gregarious wine,” says Schalk. “The Meerkat, the Pinotage and,” he says, pointing to himself, “Schalk Burger are all indigenous to South Africa. And all are gregarious!”

It is easy to see why Meerkat Pinotage has found so many friends. The 2006 is instantly approachable, being very fruity, doesn’t taste overly dry (it has 2g/L RS), and there’s some soft wood tannins (50% had stave treatment). A quaffable and gregarious wine.

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