25 August 2011

Pinotage Top 10 2011 - Results

  • Beyerskloof Reserve 2008
    • Stellenbosch - Anri and Beyers Truter
  • Diemersdal Reserve 2010
    • Durbanville -Thys Louw with Marí van der Merwe
  • Fairview Primo 2009
    • Coastal Region -Anthony de Jager
  • Kanonkop Estate 2006
    • Simonsberg / Stellenbosch - Abrie Beeslaar
  • KWV The Mentor’s 2009
    • Stellenbosch - Johan Fourie
  • Laibach 2010
    • Stellenbosch - Francois van Zyl
  • Rijk’s Private Cellar 2007
    • Tulbagh - Pierre Wahl
  • Schalk Burger & Sons Meerkat 2009
    • Wellington - Jacques Wentzel
  • Spier Naledi 2009
    • Stellenbosch - Johan Jordaan
  • Windmeul Cellar Reserve 2010
    • Paarl - Francois van Niekerk

Congratulations to the winners of this years Pinotage Top 10 Competition, listed in alphabetical order. The 20 finalists were posted here.

It is the 9th time in the Top 10 for Kanonkop and the 6th time for both Beyerskloof and Rijks and by my reckoning, with 5 wins while at Kanonkop and 6 wins at Beyerskloof it means it is winemaker Beyers Truter' 10th time in the Top 10, the most wins by any winemaker!!


24 August 2011

Neil Ellis on his 2009 Vineyard Selection Pinotage - Video

Veteran winemaker and accomplished Pinotage producer Neil Ellis takes us through his 2009 Vineyard Selection Pinotage, msourced from a single vineyard in the Jonkershoek Valley.

Video made by and courtesy of the good people at WineFilms South Africa

22 August 2011

Paul Kemp of California's Loma Prieta. - Video

Paul Kemp, owner of Loma Prieta Winery in California, joined me for dinner earlier this month as he paused in London on his journey home from South Africa to San Francisco.

Paul has become enthused with Pinotage and believes he is now the largest Pinotage producer in the America’s, having bought in all the grapes he could find to add to his own increasing plantings.

While he was in the Cape the Pinotage Association had arranged a series of tastings during which he visited winemakers at Simonsig, Beyerskloof and Kanonkop Estate. He told me he was blown away with the breadth and quality of the wines he tasted. He had not been able to find many South African Pinotages back home.

He had shipped a case of his own Pinotages to the Cape for tasting and had saved two bottles for me.

We started with a sparkler I was certain Paul wouldn’t have previously encountered, the Ridgeview Estate Merret-Cavendish 2006 methode traditionelle, an excellent English estate sparkler.

Paul suggested we opened his 2008 Loma Prieta Pinotage and keep the 2009 for later. He wanted the wine decanted, but I poured the wine to see how it developed in the glass.

At first it reminded me of an Italian wine because of its acidity which made it ideal for food pairing. After about 15 minutes the wine softened and became more voluptuous with juicy berry flavours and after about 40 minutes it was showing underlying coffee flavours. The evolution was most interesting. I am not sure I would have identified this wine as Pinotage in a blind tasting although the later coffee aromas were a hint. It was an excellent wine rich in berry fruits and rewarding drinking.

Paul says that he can sell all he makes of his Pinotage and has customers who pre-book cases. In the USA many wineries operate ‘wine-clubs’ where subscribers receive regular shipments of wine and Paul has started a Pinotage only club which already has a thousand members committed to buying his Pinotage. That’s one of the reasons Paul is fast planting more Pinotage, a variety he thinks has a bright future in California.

We also opened Te Awa 2006 Pinotage from Hawkes Bay and L’Avenir Estate 2003, made by Francois Naude whom Paul had met in the Cape. Te Awa was most delightful, lean like a greyhound and L’Avenir was at its peak of elegant maturity.

I have since heard that Loma Prieta 2009 Pinotage won a double gold and best of class in the Indy International Wine Competition. Paul says "I am bottling next week so I will have both the second bottling of the 2009 and the new 2010. I think that the 2009 that will be bottled will be better than my 2009 that now has won 3 golds
and 1 double gold."

Congrats Paul!!