25 January 2012

Is Good Pinotage Atypical?

Joe Roberts at 1 Wine Dude puts out a call to 'Stop hating on pinotage already'. His 'plea against the undeserved hate' asks readers 'what bargain-basement version of any variety doesn’t have its fair share of sh*tty-tasting bottlings?'.

He goes on to enjoy a 2008 Kanonkop Pinotage that overachieves because it
'deftly captures the entire BBQ picnic in a single bottle; toast, smoked meats, red fruits, bananas, leather purses & all. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a great introduction to high-end Pinotage and actually delivers quality and complexity levels a bit above its price point.'

Pinotage hater and anorak about town Jamie Goode has found one he likes! Scali Pinotage 2006
'Now this was superb: it is a Pinotage that doesn’t have Pinotage character, which is a good thing. I guess with a few year’s bottle age like this it is closest in flavour profile to a top Chateauneuf, with rich, warmly spicy flavours and focused cherry and berry fruits.'

Is it my imagination that when Pinotage detractors find one they like it is always because it is atypical? In my book it's the badly made ones which are atypical.

That was the second 'atypical' Pinotage he's tasted this year, last week he found Stellar Organics Running Duck No Added Sulphur Pinotage 2011 to be
'Fruity, bright and lively with nice cherry and berry notes, showing admirable purity. No heaviness, and really drinkable. 86/100'.

Meanwhile I lunched with friends at Neetlingshof Estate yesterday. Cellar Master DeWet Viljoen was also there there having a business lunch with potential foreign clients but he found time to put a glass of pale red wine on our table. It was light bodied and tasted like a fine old claret, yet had lively sweet fruit. What could it be? DeWet then revealed the bottle - a 1984 Neethlingshof Pinotage. My, how this variety can age. Atypical? I don't think so.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous21:36

    I have a bottle of 1984 Neethlingshof that was in a mixed case at auction. Maybe not such a bad buy, I was fearing the worst for it but will open with more hope now,

    Nick in Clitheroe, Lancs