01 August 2008

Crianza Pinotage?

Cathy van Zyl MW thinks she may have the solution of how to identify the style in which a Pinotage has been made. She takes her inspiration from France and Spain.

"We could have Pinotage Nouveau to denote an unoaked, fruity wine intended for consumption within a year, maximum two, of production", she blogs. "Then, there’d be something like ‘Crianza’, and here wines could have been aged for a minimum period of time with wood (that is, either in it or with it – that is, staved or chipped) but still be for youthful, uncomplicated drinking. It would be a fruity wine flavoured with, and given texture by, oak … for those who like the flavours and textures of oak.

"We could move to a ‘Reserva’ category, which could denote an extended period of time in wood (note, not ‘with’ wood) and that would be made in a style that is structured for three to six years of aging, and finally, could we also have a category similar to ‘Gran Reserva’ for wines which have been crafted to be aged for at least a decade?"

It is an intriguing idea that has merits. But would the Pinotage wine makers welcome more regulation in an industry that, even after the end of the KWV's iron grip, is still heavy with rules and bureaucracy. And would they ever agree to the suggested parameters or names? The Cape Blend project suggests not...


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