21 April 2008

Delheim's latest Pinotage is a Cracker!

It’s a tradition that on our last day in the Cape we have lunch at Delheim. We ordered a bottle of their MCC sparkler in consolation of the forthcoming journey home and I chose the scrumptious Cape Malay Chicken Curry wrapped in a filo pastry parcel. Delheim change the menu in their garden restaurant every month and if I miss the lamb curry served in its individual potjies I always find another favourite.

By chance Nora Sperling-Thiel (owner/marketing/exports) was dining with some guests and she asked Brenda van Niekerk (pictured left) to spare a few moments from winemaking duties to show me her 2008 Pinotage Rosé.

I’d tasted a still fermenting sample previously, but now that wine was complete and had been bottled a few days previously. Brenda told she’d blended in 6% Muscat to give a little sweet lift; there’s 5.5gL residual sugar and the alcohol is a lunch friendly 12.5%.

Delheim Pinotage Rosé 2008
The colour was bluish red with a rose petal bouquet. At first it tastes another easy going pink wine with delicate rose petal flavours and a refreshing pear-drop acidity on the finish. But I returned to it and realised there was more complexity than at first appeared and it’s a rewarding summer’s day drink.

Brenda also brought a sample of the 2007 red Pinotage. This had spent 10 months in 60/40% new/ 2nd fill oak barrels and was now undergoing bottle aging before release later this year. Brenda said she ‘likes the fruit and the big structure.”

Delheim Pinotage 2007
I’ve thought Delheim’s recent Pinotages have been a bit dull, but this one was right back on track. It is lively and interesting with dark plummy fruits to the fore and wood tannins developing on the finish. It shows all the signs of an excellent wine, good for drinking young but with plenty of potential for aging. I'll be looking out for this when its released.

Sad as I was to leave Delheim and to be heading home to a cold England, I was thrilled to see that my book Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape was on sale in Delheim's gift shop at the entrance. The books contains one of my favourite winelabels, which is Spatzendreck, Delheims sweet wine that has such an amusing story behind it.

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