14 December 2008

Ascension Rings its Pinotage Bell

Ascension Winery, in New Zealand’s Matakana wine region, was just closing for the day as Sue Courtney and I drove up at 5pm but they stayed open for us to taste their 2007 ‘Bell Ringer’ Pinotage.

This is quite a different style from the 2006 ‘Parable’ which I tasted last year. It is more beaujolais like, light bodied with soft raspberry fruit flavours and 12.5% abv. This style is popular locally and the wine sells well.

Sue Courtney’s tasting note says:
Ascension 'The Bell Ringer' Pinotage 2007
Beautiful light crimson-purple red. Savoury, smoked meat and bacon notes on the nose with rustic wild cherries.Lovely clean savoury flavours, bright and tasty with a silky mouthfeel, juicy cherry and blueberry fruit and a hint of chocolate. The smoky oak from the nose comes through and the finish is distinctively Pinotage gamey. Seems to have taken a different direction from recent previous vintages. It has a lighter touch.

Ascension’s owner Darryl Soljan (pictured) says that Pinotage does every well at Ascension. He has two acres that he planted here in 1996 but Darryl and the Soljan's involvement with Pinotage goes back much earlier with other vineyards and wineries owned by the family.

Many thanks to Sue Courtney, columnist with the Rodney Times and publisher of www.wineoftheweek.com/


  1. Great blog Peter, pity I only found your blog now. I am a great fan of Pinotage, although there are some dodgy ones out there. I suppose it is my South African patriotism???

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