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


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