31 May 2011

007 Drinks Three Cape Ladies Pinotage Blend

Carte Blanche, the new James Bond novel written by Jeffrey Deaver, has James Bond choosing Warwick’s ‘Three Cape Ladies’ Cape Blend to accompanyhis seduction of Felicity Willing.

“ ...vintage Three Cape Ladies, a red blend from Muldersvlei in the Cape. Bond knew its reputation. He took out the cork and poured. They sat on the sofa and sipped. “Wonderful” he said.”

Three Cape Ladies is a delicious Cape Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot and Shiraz.

Picture courtesy of Mike Ratcliffe's blog at blog.warwickwine.com

26 May 2011

Neal Martin is 'Excited by Delicious old Pinotage'

Some interesting comments about Pinotage from Neal Martin who was one of the international judges at this year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. Neal Martin is a Bordeaux expert and one of Robert Parker’s team. This was his first visit to South Africa.

When asked about Pinotage Neal said

“South Africans love Pinotage like English love fish and chips and we know that fish and chips is never going to be the top sashimi in Japan but we still love it and we’re still proud of it and we’ll always keep eating it.

Just like Pinotage maybe it’s never going to be a Chateau Latour, but certainly there is a definite improvement which is good to see and it’s just a case of tackling the stigma that surrounds Pinotage and that is a case of going to the producer who aren’t making good Pinotage, giving them a slap on the wrist and telling them to sort it out.”


“I have to say when we had the ’61 Pinotage it completely blew me away. It was as exciting as any extremely expensive wine I’ve had because it completely changed my perception and opened my mind.

The month before I’d tasted half a dozen ’61 Bordeaux and it was just as enjoyable, if not more so than those. We had a half bottle of ’59 Zonnebloem.

One of the things that was interesting was that a couple of people said where did we lose our way. If we can make that in ’61 why are we getting such bad press now, which I thought was really interesting.

The winemakers were asking themselves how does that Pinotage age for 50 years and still taste so fresh. It was delicious.”

Results of the competition will be published on 1 June 2011

Source: Judges feedback published in Wine magazine online 25 May 2011


25 May 2011

Koopmanskloof Koffeeklip Pinotage 2010 - Video

Koopmanskloof is a winery new to me. Anriënka (call me Anna) Vlok told me it is in the Bottellary Hills where the soil type is a shale known as Koffieklip which proved to be a convenient name for their new coffee toned Pinotage.

Anna shows us a piece of Koffieklip as she tells us about the Koopmanskloof Koffeeklip 2010 Pinotage

I thought the coffee tones were very muted in this tank sample and I wouldn't have identified this as a 'coffee style' Pinotage if it wasn't for the name. It's a pleasant modern berry fruited wine with - yes - maybe some coffee lurking in the background, but this is a sample and it will be interesting to taste the finished wine.

The bottle in the film has a temporary label but the actual - rather attractive - label is shown below.

23 May 2011

Rijks Pinotage – The Pope of Wines - Video

I noticed a new wine with an oak coloured label on Rijk's stand at this year’s London International Wine Fair: Rijk’s Touch of Oak Pinotage.

Winemaker Pierre Wahl was happy to tell us about this addition to Rijks range of Pinotage wines.

If found the wine pleasantly fruit forward with the oak well hidden and was surprised when Pierre said it had spent 14 months in oak, but old barrels. That’s how oak should be, supportive but not overt.

I think Touch of Oak Pinotage is a wine made for enjoying now but the standard Rijk’s Pinotage ages well. Checking my records I find I have been drinking Rijk’s 4 – 6 years after vintage and they have been perfect -- but I’ve none left now.

Pierre calls his Pinotage the Pope of wines, because it converts all who taste it :)

20 May 2011

Aaldering Pinotage at LIWF

Hit of this years London International Wine Fair, which ended yesterday, was the new Wines of South Africa (WoSA) stand.

In a major break from previous years wines were available in a welcoming self-serve format. Instead of individual winery stands each with a pourer behind the counter, visitors were invited to ‘help themselves’ from a large number of themed circular pods.

Playing on WoSA’s long running slogan Variety is in our Nature was a stand invoking a sideshow tent at a travelling circus.

Colourful pods had headings including Cheerful Chenins, Wonderful Wellington, Splendid Swartland and Stars of Tomorrow. At the stand’s corners were towers of clean glasses topped by bottles of mineral water with an invitation to ‘help yourself’.

Bottles on pods nestled in individual holders and underneath each were containers of business card with wine and contact details.

I headed to the Popular Pinotage pod where I tasted the wines in turn. The first that made an impression was from Aaldering a name I had not previously encountered. It was a Stellenbosch WO from the 2007 vintage – the oldest wine on the stand -- and its red colour was getting a brownish tinge. There were mulberry fruits and a creamy almond nuttiness on the palate with a spicy finish.

By chance I met Janine Smink who is the Global Marketing & Sales Manager for the brand and she introduced me to owner Fons Aaldering, a Dutch business man who in 2004 bought the Devon Valley property previously owned by Hidden Valley winery.

Janine said that the Pinotage vines for their 2007 Pinotage were 15 years old and that Aaldering keep back their wines until they are mature before they are released. Currently sales are mostly to restaurants in Netherlands and they are looking for distribution in England and elsewhere.


For more about WoSA's stand at LIWF see