The Swedish alcohol monopoly Systembolaget has published its plans for 2011. “We will continue to renew our selection of Pinotage wines from South Africa,” they say and are tendering for a minimum of 260,000 bottles of “modern style “Coffee Pinotage”.
“We are looking for a full-bodied and tasty wine with substantial tones of roasted coffee, chocolate, spices and dark cherries. The wine should partly be aged and fermented in oak barrels.” They require a “Stelvin Screwcap closure” (hooray) and a “colour picture on the bottle with readable label.” Interesting, does that mean they want a Swedish language label? This wine will retail at between 70-99SEK.
They also want 70,000 bottles of a 2010 Stellenbosch WO Pinotage to retails above 100SEK.
“We are looking for a fruity, elegant and balanced wine with integrated character of oak barrel and hints of dark berries, spices and herbs. The wine will not be visible smoky, jam or burnt notes. The wine should be aged at least 12 months, mostly in French oak barrels.”
The Systembolaget is one of the world’s largest single purchasers of wine, which isn’t surprising as it is buying wine for an entire country. For a consumer, if the Systembolaget hasn’t got it, then it doesn’t exist. Currently they list the following varietal Pinotages.
Cafê Culture Pinotage
Fairview Pinotage Viognier
Graham Beck Pinotage
L'Avenir Pinotage 2008
Lyngrove Podium Pinotage
MAN Vintners Pinotage 2009
Rijk's Pinotage 2004
Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Pinotage
Stormhoek The Siren Pinotage
Doesn’t look to me that the Systembolaget wine buyers get out the office much. That's not the list for one shop, that's the list for an entire country.