30 June 2008

2008 Pinotage vintage is looking good

The 2008 Pinotage vintage is looking good is the verdict from the annual tasting of tank samples from around the Cape, with flavours of plum, fynbos, coffee and mocha dominant.

It rained often during the growing season with heavy rainfalls at the end of November and early December, putting more pressure on keeping the grapes clean from vineyard diseases. Although ripening was delayed for most cultivars and grapes were harvested two weeks later than usual, the early ripening of Pinotage was an advantage once again. Most of the Pinotage was picked ripe and in a healthy condition.

“Anybody who has any doubt about Pinotage should have been here today. What stood out is the variation of type and style, there is something special to suit every palate,” said Dave Hughes, South Africa’s international wine judge.

Duimpie Bayly, Cape Wine Master and convener of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage panel, was very impressed with the concentrated fruit flavours of most wines and the good potential for maturation. “The wide areas from where all these fine wines originate is a clear illustration that with the correct vineyard management and vinification, top quality Pinotage can be produced all over the Cape” , said Duimpie. “The wines we tasted showed competent blending and wood treatment to bring out the best. It is our experience at the annual Pinotage Vintage Tasting that the dedication from winemakers to produce top quality Pinotage wines increases year after year”.

Thirteen 2008 tank samples were tasted, supplied by Delheim (Stellenbosch), Cilmor (Worcester), Beyerskloof (Bottelary), Riebeek Cellar (Riebeek-Wes), Bon Courage (Robertson), Lyngrove (Helderberg), Landskroon (Paarl), Spruitdrift (Olifantsrivier), Diemersdal (Durbanville), Clos Malverne (Devon Valley), Rico Suter (Breedekloof), Windmeul (Paarl) and Stanford Hills (Walker Bay).

Pinotage is not only a popular wine in South Africa; 22½ Million bottles of Pinotage were exported in the year ended April 2008.

Pictured at the tasting are (from left) De Wet Viljoen (Chairman of the Pinotage Association’s organising committee), André Swanepoel (Cilmor), Alecia Hamman (Riebeek Cellar) and Rico Suter (Rico Suter Wines).

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