28 January 2010

Web Reviews: Fairview, Te Awa, Diemersfontein and Makulu

Over on eBob (Robert Parker's forum) Chaad Thomas thought Fairview's 2005 Pinotage was a great wine.


"Dark garnet, with some ruby reflections. Bright. Bold nose is smoky, gamey, and herbal. My wife says it smells like an Italian [spiced] stable! It's definitely redolent of wild berries and true to that SA funk.

Fresh and lively up front, the wine shows ripe, supple fruit and good weight. It's quite harmonious, with a good balance of earth tones and savor. The fruit is a juicy blend of cherry, raspberry, and cranberry...maybe blackberry.

Nicely knit all the way through the middle, too. The finish is a progressive evolution from the palate, allowing a nice glow of salty, beefiness at the end. Mouthwatering.

In all, this is still a great wine, true to my memory of it a few years back, on release. It's so satisfying and enjoyable to drink! It's not profound,but it is distinctly flavorful and "original" tasting."


In New Zealand, Sue Courtney at Wine of the Weektested a gizmo called SpinWine that is supposed to aerate wine. Sue compared three distinctly different wines, Tempranillo, Montepulciano and Te Awa Hawkes Bay 2007 Pinotage. The SpinWine didn't impress but the Pinotage did.

Concentrated, impenetrable, blackberry red hue. There's a tomato character to the aroma and a hint of a barnyard character too. A full-bodied wine in the mouth with soft tannins and bright, spicy, meaty flavours.

Actually the tannins are quite powerful but the juicy dark berry fruit cuts right them down. Acidity pops up like a speed bump, it's here and then it's gone, and the finish is chocolatey with a hint of liquorice. Fermented with natural yeasts and matured in French oak for 12 months. A fascinating wine - the most fascinating of the three - in that's it so different. Liked it


Amanda at The Travelling Grape 'was so excited' about tasting her very first Pinotage which a friend of a friend had brought back to her in California. It was Diemersfontein Pinotage 2008 .

Wow, a chocolate bomb on my nose right away with dark rich coffee beans. Could this be a CafĂ© Mocha lover’s answer? At first it was a bit hot and tickled my nose but that dissipated in time. The front of the palate was quick but the middle, whoa nelly…smooth like velvet with a hint of smoke and leather but the coffee and chocolate certainly stole the show. The finish lingered around a bit and left me yearning for a chocolate covered cherry. Very unique and I encourage each of you to get your hands on some to try.



Ellen at A Life in Reviews loved Makulu Iswithi Pinotage 2006, which she summed up as "Impressive and sustainable - it's like getting buzzed off a Toyota Prius." (?)

Hooray!!! A wine that is inexpensive, scrumptious, and organically/sustainably grown. For the price, it doesn't get much better than this. I haven't had a lot of South African wine, but I'm hooked. This Pinotage is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It's quite sweet and will appeal to the Pinot fans (Iswithi means "sweet" in Zulu), but it's cherry-sweet rather than sickly-sweet, and it's also full-bodied enough to win over Cab and Syrah fans.




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