21 August 2009

DeWaal Top of the Hill 2006

Has it really been that long? Last Top of the Hill I tasted was the 2004 vintage when I visited the winery in 2007. Then I found the 2004 an “older style Pinotage, with firm firm dry tannins, less approachable fruit, and crisp acidity.”

This 2006 is a different beast being very approachable and well balanced with tannins well restrained on opening and an ideal wine with enough body to match food. The wine opens up in the glass showing ripe cherry flavours. The Top of The Hill is made for aging, and I think I’ll put away my remaining bottle to see how it develops, as the few dregs of this bottle were showing intriguing spices and plums when I emptied them the following day.
A well deserved Top 10 winner in 2008.

I must admit though my total puzzlement at the labelling. The front label does not mention the grape variety. The rear label has a vague all purpose waffle about “the diversity of soil and vineyard sites on this Stellenbosch Kloof Estate enable judicious partnering of classic varietals with ideal terroir.

What relevance does the diversity of vineyard sites on the farm have to with this specific wine? It is a single vineyard wine from a named vineyard which happens to be on the top of a hill, not in a ravine as kloof implies. Not only that, but the historic Top of the Hill vineyard is planted with the world’s oldest Pinotage vines. I’d have thought that was worthy of mention.

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