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).


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