31 October 2008
28 October 2008
Stormhoek have teamed up with Barrington's International Vine Leasing Ltd to offer the benefits of owning (part of) a vineyard without having to do all the hard work such as pruning, weeding and spraying. Not to mention staying up all night during vintage time to press down the cap.
With Christmas coming fast, its a present idea for the Pinotage lover who has everything.
Stormhoek's Guava Block vineyard
Debra Gordon writes in Virginia's Newport News "We tasted four reds blind, so we didn't know what they were or how much they cost. When the bags the votes were tallied, the classic South African varietal — Pinotage — came out a clear winner.We love Pinotage. It has a flavor unlike any other I've tasted — funky, complex, yet amazingly fruity. Turns out the rest of our group loved it, too.
The 2006 Pinotage ($14) we tasted came from Avondale, an organic winery located in the Paarl region.
One member described it as 'the trouble wine,' as in: 'the wine that will get you in trouble because you want to keep drinking glass after glass.'"
27 October 2008
The Society's wine-buyer Joanna Locke MW says the wine is an "unusually fresh-tasting, modern Pinotage, which happens to be made from organic grapes, to enjoy while it is young and fruity, or later when its part pinot noir parentage will develop spicier flavours. Try it with Asian foods."
The wine inside comes from 40 year old vines and was made by Bon Cap Organic Winery in Roberston. It is actually their second wine range, 'The Ruins', labelled especially for the Wine Society.
The label was designed by Tanya Tanaka of the Slade School of Fine Art. She says "I was inspired by maps of the regions and the idea of an Old World product in a New World environment."
I last visited Bon Cap in February 2008; my report is here.
26 October 2008
22 October 2008
Lovingston have been making Pinotage from vineyard they have leased for a few years and have been so pleased with the results that they have now planted their own Pinotage vineyard on a ridge behind the winery. "We're giving it a shot," says winemaker Riaan Rossouw, "we're very enthusiastic about it. We don't mind at all being outside the Bordeaux spectrum."
This first short video was taken in that new vineyard with its tremendous views. Owner Ed Puckett is on the vehicle and winemaker Riaan Rossouw tells us about growing Pinotage in Virginia and how he doen't mind being outside the Bordeaux spectrum
Then we are in the winery where Riaan discusses making Pinotage in Virginia
Upstairs Ed Puckett tells about how he constructed the winery and how they handle the grapes.
As this clip ends he reveals that they remove the grape seeds during fermentation. I have not previously heard of such a practise, but in Virginia I am told that it is fairly common because the grapes do not usually get to completely full ripeness, and so in the last clip Riaan tells how they remove the seeds.
As you can see, everyone at Lovingston has quality to the forefront, and it shows in their wines.
Many thanks to everyone at Lovingston for showing The Pinotage Club around your winery and vineyards. The movies were taken with my new really neat Flip Mino camera.
18 October 2008
James Molesworth says "This has a slightly jammy core of plum and blueberry fruit, with notes of briar, black licorice and coffee. The grape's rustic persona lurks in the background too, with a burly edge on the finish. Drink now through 2009. 5,000 cases made. (87 points, $14) "
Simonsig make two Pinotages. This one is unwooded whereas the 'Redhill' is aged 16 months in oak barrels. The Spex reviewed the Redhill 2004 vintage 18 months ago in March 2007.
17 October 2008
Demand for the wine is so great, especially in the Far East, that KWV CEO Thys Loubser told South Africa's Business Report that "we cannot get enough".
Therefore he has ordered that production of the mocha 'n' chocolate accented Pinotage be increased to exceed one million litres.
15 October 2008
But winemaking is in his blood and he has now started a new venture Le Vin de Françoise, whose first wine – a Pinotage -- sold out its entire production within a few hours*.
Marketing was unusual. Potential buyers were invited to a black-tie function where the Pinotage was auctioned. 200 cases were sold realising an average price of 250R a bottle (about £15.20 or $26.30). Well known Johannesburg steak house owner Alan Pick took home 60 cases of Le Vin de Françoise Pinotage 2007.
Francois is well known for Pinotage. “I am a huge Pinotage fan and was lucky enough to have seven of the nine wines I entered for the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage Competition make the final line up. Pinotage is in my blood, like family, and it was only natural that our first product should be a Pinotage”, he said
Le Vin de Françoise Pinotage 2007 is a blend of barrel selected wines from wineries where Francois has been consulting: Delheim, Hartenberg, Lanzerac, L’Avenir and Neil Ellis.
Packing is special. The bottle is a reproduction of the original Bordeaux bottle used in 1855 The twelve bottle wooden cases that the wine comes in are custom made, stackable and sturdy, and the label a unique work of art from design studio Haumann Smal.
“We wanted to create a “magic” product. A product that would secure the first step for the brand to grow and prosper into something the generations that follow can be proud of” added Francois.
The icon that was used on the label is a wing nut, symbolising the clasping together of family ideals, with the different wines from a variety of terroirs that created this unique wine. Francois also jokingly added that the wing nuts look a little bit like his ears!
* Except for three more cases of the wine were kept back for a public on-line action to benefit The Faith Fund charity. You can place your bid at http://www.levindefrancois.com/ and three cases kept for Francois' own use. In total, just 206 cases of the 2007 vintage was made.
12 October 2008
The research by Dalene de Beer, Elizabeth Joubert & Johan Marais into vintages from 2000 to 2003 doesn’t appear to come to any firm conclusions, except that wines from warmer areas and those that underwent the pumping of juice over skin caps gave wines with the lowest TAC and colour saturation.
The full report in Afrikaans is in the magazines August issue and an English version can be read on the Wynboer site at http://www.wynboer.co.za/recentarticles/200808pinotage.php3