22 June 2011

Yngvild Steytler talks about Kaapzicht Pinotage - video

It is always a pleasure to meet the tireless and irrepressible Yngvild Steytler and taste her impressive Pinotages.

20 June 2011

Gary Vaynerchuck's Pinotage

Gary Vaynerchuck likes Pinotage. In his latest video tasting he opens 2009 Diemersdal Pinotage and 2007 Chamonix Greywacke Pinotage, rating them 88+ and 89+ points.

Some interesting comments and individualistic tasting descriptors!

See Gary here


PINOTAGE book now in iBookstore

PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa's Own Wine is now available from Apple's iBookstore as an iBook for the iPad and iPhone.

This joins the Kindle version and traditional original paperback in making the book available on a wide range of platforms.

Apple - http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pinotage/id442165834

Kindle* at Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GXB3TO

Kindle* at Amazon.co.uk - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004GXB3TO

Paperback at Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/dp/0956152309

Paperback at Amazon.co.uk - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0956152309

For signed & dedicated copies buy directly from me using the links to the right.

In South Africa the paperback is on sale in the Delheim winery giftshop, Kanonkop Estate's tasting room and Book Cottage in Hermanus.

*also readable on Android, BlackBerry, PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad using the free Kindle App.

17 June 2011

Escapades Pinotage - Video

Escapades is another label new to me. A partnership from Greece have bought a small farm in the Bottelary Hills and constructed a winery to make 70,000 bottles of four premium Estate grown varietal wines.

I met Stelios Samaras at the London International Wine Fair who told me that the Escapade winery had been set up by winemakers Evangelos Gerovassiliou and Vassilis Tsaktsarlis with marketeer Takis Soldatos, whose Mare Magnum company makes wine in Italy and six other countries.

Escapades has a striking bottle with its gold bands and this is the first Pinotage that I know that has been made by a Greek winemaker

Maceration and fermentation was in stainless steel tanks for 10 days at a relatively low temperature ranging from 20-25°C. After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured for 12 months in 100% new French Allier oak barrels before bottling and undergoing bottle aging.

The 2008 Escapades Pinotage is good example of the variety with some lush ripe fruits and it is pleasant drinking but I thought the pricing – not finalised but they expect it to retail northwards of £25 - to be rather ambitious for the first vintage from a new label.


04 June 2011

Kanokop Kadette is 'Beautifully structured'

I think Kanonkop's Kadette 2009 Cape Blend is the best vintage they have ever made, and I have bought cases of it for my wine tasting and home consumption. I first tasted it at the winery in January and said very impressive ... this vintage is a step up, being much more serious. There’s less upfront obvious fruit and a classic linearity.

In today's Telegraph Victoria Moore picks it as one of her top summer wines.

Kanonkop Kadette 2009

There’s no mistaking the origin of this bold red: it’s a big, smoky South African blend of pinotage, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc, aged in old French oak. Beautifully structured, with notes of roasted coffee beans and leather. It would be brilliant with blackened barbecue meat – spare ribs and steaks.

'Beautifully structured' - yes, spot on!


02 June 2011

Vino Con Brio Sold

Vino Con Brio winery in Lodi is closing on 5 June and the property has been sold on the retirement of the owners, Mike and Renae Matson.

Vino Con Brio has the largest Pinotage plantings in America. They make their own Pinotage, which I have tasted and its a good clean fruit forward modern wine, and they sell grapes to a number of other wineries who want to make Pinotage.

This follows the sudden sale in March of New Zealand’s Muddy Water winery to neighbouring Waipara producer, Greystone. Muddy Water made one of my favourite NZ Pinotages, a powerful ‘no prisoners’ taken statement wine. Winemaker Belinda Gould, Muddy Hill’s winemaker of eleven years lost her job.

New Zealand journalist Sue Courtney called the Muddy Water 2009 Pinotage “voluptuous” and that it was a wine that “totally seduces the senses in every way - a wine that lovers of full-bodied reds will find hard to resist.” Sue is doubtful that Greystone will continue with making Pinotage.

Sad news when two top non-South African Pinotage wineries close in few months of each other.