23 June 2010

First N. America Rose Pinotage -- from View

The View Winery has released America's first rosé Pinotage together with its third red Pinotage. The rosé is produced by the saignée method in which juice is drawn off during fermentiion thus leaving a greater ratio of grape skins to juice and resulting in a deeper more intense red wine. The removed pale pink juice is used to make a rose.

Sarah Willard, for BC Local News, tasted the wines and reported:

2009 ‘Distraction’ Rosé $13.95
Perhaps North America’s only Pinotage bleed, it’s hard to find anything quite like it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find some copycats in future years. Exhibits wonderful strawberry notes reminiscent of a purely Pinot Noir Rosé, but the pomegranate and cherry are incomparable and addictive! A fantastic Rosé at an even more fantastic price. Don’t disappoint yourself. This will sell-out fast.

2009 Pinotage $19.95
Much darker in colour than their previous vintage, this Pinotage features lots of red fruits and spice that carries through on the finish. A great food pairing wine (if you are barbequing, this is a must!), but equally enjoyable on its own. Winner of ‘Finalist’ award at 2010 Okanagan Spring Wine Festival.

The View Winery is located at Kelowna, in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. The 2008 Pinotage featured in The View's must-see video, as mentioned yesterday.

22 June 2010

View Pinotage's Starring Movie Role

(click on video to see it full size on YouTube - also on The View Website)

The View Winery’s Red Shoe Pinotage 2008 (left) is featured in this clever and funny film starring Winery President Jennifer Molgat and the Okanagen Valley's winery team.

Do watch right to the end.

15 June 2010

WINE Magazine's Pinotage Tasting

In April I posted about WINE magazine's upcoming Pinotage tastings to be hosted by a "leading Pinotage winemaker". I couldn't attend so I am indebted to Dusan Jelic who went to the 10 June event at Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town which was hosted by L'Avenir winemaker Tinus Els.

Dusan says

"The first time I tried Pinotage some seventeen years ago in Johannesburg I was lost. Completely overwhelmed and swamped by a wave of tastes, ideas and subtle signs I had never experienced beforehand.

It was like plunging into a meadow of unfamiliar flowers, unknown birds singing in strange tunes about lands I could only have ever guessed at. That wine was so different than anything I tasted before.

My pretty modest wine knowledge at the time couldn’t help me understand it, so probably out of genuine curiosity I swiftly fell in love with Pinotage..."

There was an eclectic choice of ten wines which included some less familiar names...

Dusan blogged detailed tasting notes here.


07 June 2010

My First Cypriot Pinotage

Chateau St Hilarion Pinotage 2009, Cyprus (unfinished vat sample)

It is not fair to review this wine since it’s an unfinished sample of a work in progress that international consultant Keith Grainger syphoned from a tank and put into a bottle just before he returned to the UK some weeks ago ... but it is so promising I just have to share.

Good bright colour cherry red colour and vanilla strongly on the nose. Has a creamy mouth feel offering subdued blackberry flavours, vanilla and a slightly dusty finish.

It is likely that this maiden vintage of Cyprus’s first Pinotage won’t be commercially released but used for evaluation by the winery. The vines were planted just three years ago on a trial basis so are very young.

I think it shows great promise. The wine has a very pleasing flavour, clean and without any earthiness, a little like Beaujolais crossed with Cotes du Rhone. On the basis of this Chateau St Hilarion could have a real winner on its hands.

Many thanks to Keith for getting the sample to me. And let me take the opportunity to congratulate Keith for winning the Gourmand Award for the Best Wine Education Book in the World for his latest book Wine Quality: Tasting and Selection (Food Industry Briefing).


04 June 2010

Tinus Els of L'Avenir with Grand Vin 2007 Pinotage

Tinus Els, cellar master and winemaker at L'Avenir in Stellenbosch, tells us about the making of his soft elegant 2007 Grand Vin Pinotage and how it will age

01 June 2010

Kanonkop Pink and Black

For all the years I have known Kanonkop their range has been limited to four wines, all red. Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paul Sauer Bordeaux blend and Kadette Cape Blend. This year has seen two new wines join the team, Kadette Pink Pinotage and the seriously expensive Black Label Pinotage with its hologram logo on thefront and individual bottle number on the back.

Thanks to the generosity of owner Johann Krige I was able to taste both at the recent London wine show.

I wasn't keen on the pink Kadette 2010 which had too much bubble-gum about it for me but the Black Label 2006l!!

Wonderful rich silky ripe deep concentrated plum and bramble berry flavours, perfectly balanced, like an even more refined version of their usual bottling. This is a seriously good wine.

I understand this wine is meant for keeping – so speculators can trade it – but it is drinking so well now, a real delight but one few people will be able to drink.

(Quality of the label photo's was affected by being on an glass counter with lights underneath .)