08 August 2008

Steyter by Kaapzicht Estate 2001 ~ Perfect Pinotage

From vineyards high on the slopes of Bottelary Hills you can see ships in the hazy distance entering Cape Town harbour. The view inspired the name of this family owned estate. Kaapzicht means Cape View, and the Steytler have been growing grapes there on the hillls since they bought the farm in 1946. They sold their first wines under the Kaapzicht label in 1984. Danie Steytler is the wine maker, his wife Yngvild travels the world marketing it and Danie’s brother George is the viticulturist and manages the farm and his wife Mandy manages the function rooms and self-catering cottage.

Danie makes quite a large range of wines both red and white, but his top two wines are both red and labelled as Steytler by Kaapzicht Estate. They are a 100% Pinotage and a Cape Blend called Vision which is a Cabernet, Pinotage and Merlot blend and both have garnered multiple awards over the year.

I have been keeping this 2001 Steytler Pinotage for some years and I was in two minds whether to open it or keep it till 2011. Impatience won.

Kaapzicht Estate
Steytler Pinotage 2001
WO Stellenbosch 15%abv

This vintage won one of Platters rare 5 star awards; they called it a ‘perfect Pinotage’, so I’m expecting great things. As the cork is lifted a most spicy bouquet scents the air and the initial tastes are of spices and fruits of the forest. It is medium bodied, elegant and really quite sweet on the finish, with impressions of pencil shavings and cedar wood, and there’s an intimation of age with a faint scent of cabbage. As time passes, toffee and caramel flavours come to the fore. After thirty minutes the up-front berry fruit flavours are fading and cabbage and toffee are coming to the fore. And then my glass was empty….. I think I made the correct decision in opening the wine as I really enjoyed it - and that is what drinking wine is about - but I have a nagging feeling that maybe the wine was at the point where it was starting to transform into one of those ageless Pinotages which keep for decades showing Pinot Noir characteristics. I have one bottle of this wine remaining – now shall I keep it and see?

Danie has made some interesting short videos where he talks about his wines and shows the vineyards. Take a look at them at www.kaapzicht.co.za

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