29 January 2012
Three lovely Pinotages new to me
Bordeaux uses the term ‘petite chateaux’ to describe the many modest small wineries making good wine at reasonable prices.
There’s not really a term for similar in the Cape and Ken Forrester has taken Petit Pinotage as the brand for one of his wines. So I don’t know a collective noun to describe them but I’ve been impressed recently with wines from labels I’ve not encountered before.
First up is Arniston Bay — well, of course I’ve previously come across this heavily promoted brand and posted about their Pinotage Rose in its innovative pouch in October 2007, and I had a bottle or two of Savvy in Cape restaurants— but I haven’t drunk a bottle of their red Pinotage.
I was very pleasantly impressed with Arniston Bay ‘Bushvine Selection’ 2009 (WO Western Cape) which “comes from 20 year old bush vines” aged 16 months in French Oak barrels. The appellation is Western Cape, thus the grapes are sourced from various places so it unlikely that all the vines were exactly 20 years old, but that’s the sort of thing only a pedant like me would question. Good fruit and oak integration, a very posh wine that was a real pleasure to drink.
Aan de Doorns in Worcester was new to me. Its back label, on a pleasingly heavy bottle, says it was produced from ‘specially selected vineyards’, which I guess is true of every single wine everywhere. According to cellar master Johan Morkel in Platter, the cellars “most importent focus” is supplying leading UK brand FirstCape.
I wish them the best, but I think they could blow their own trumpet a little louder because this Aan de Doorns 2010 Pinotage (WO Worcester) was a real cracker that made me stop mid-meal and stare at my wine glass. Good depth of fruit, nicely rounded, complexity and superb drinkability. It was one of those wines that is finished before the meal and has you checking the punt to see if the wines has been leaking away.
Lutzville Vineyards is up the coast several hundred kilometres from Cape Town in the Oliphants River region, a place I have never been, yet intend visiting in the next couple of weeks.
Lutzville ‘Cape Diamond’ 2010 Pinotage (WO Lutzville Valley) was jucily fruity, with ripe mulberry and red plum flavours and was an enjoyable lip-smacking wine. No information on the label about age of vines or wood aging.
Three cracking good wines, all beautifully made and all offering real drinking pleasure, and all new to me. Even after so many Pinotages, I’m still learning.
So many wines, so little time....