27 September 2012

£65 Pinotage is 'too perfect'

Bruce Jack of Flagstone Wines has made a new Pinotage exclusively for Direct Wines who operate various wine clubs in the UK, USA, Australia and Hong Kong.

The single vineyard 2010 Pinotage is called ‘Time Manner Place’; there are just 1,500 bottles and it will be priced at £65. (870 ZAR/105 USD)

Jack told The Drinks Business “My aim is to make the best wine in the world from Pinotage. This won’t be a wine we produce every year, only in years we deem good enough.”

The grapes are grown by Anton Roos, (pictured above)  at Silkbush Vineyards in the Breede River, from where Flagstone’s ‘The Writers Block’ Pinotage is also sourced.
This wine is, I understand, basically a barrel selection from Writers Block.

 UK journalist and Pinotage sceptic Jamie Goode tasted a sample and said (in part)

Wild, herby, meaty notes lurk in the background. This isn’t just about sweet fruit: there’s also a strongly savoury, mineral dimension here. A serious effort, but it will need considerable time to come round. 92-94/100.

It is one of a series of good Pinotages he’s recently tasted that has caused him to rethink the variety of which he writes “I’m now changing my mind about”.

But South African journalist Christian Eedes thought

It’s an extremely compelling vision of what Pinotage can be but I wonder if it isn’t a little too perfect.

We’ve come a long way in a short time for a Pinotage to be criticised for being ‘too perfect’.
Can't wait to taste it - though, according to Jamie, perhaps I should.

12 September 2012

Pinotages Pioneer Ethical Seal

Pinotages from Durbanville Hills, Robertson Winery and Tukulu will be among the first to bear a new seal guaranteeing the wine was produced ethically.

 The seal is awarded to individual wines, rather than the winery. Wines of South Africa CEO, Su Birch, explains “As compliance has to be fully traceable across the entire production chain, every wine submitted has to be individually audited.”

The wines are

Durbanville Hills ‘Rhinofields’ Pinotage 2011

Robertson Winery Pinotage 2011

Tukulu Pinotage 2010

“They are the trailblazers who are setting an important precedent for the industry in its efforts to fast-track the implementation of fair labour practices on wine farms and in cellars” says Su Birch.

The new ethical seal testifies that producers have adhered to the WIETA code which is based on the International Labour Conventions’ Ethical Trading Initiative and South African labour legislation. This code prohibits the use of child labour, and ensures that employment is freely chosen with all employees working within a healthy and safe environment.  The code also states that workers should have the right to freedom of association, a living wage and to be protected from unfair discrimination. Worker housing and tenure security rights should also be respected.  

07 September 2012

Decanter's Top Red Varietal is Pinotage

Last night Decanter magazine announced the International Trophy Winners of the Decanter World Wine Awards competition.

Trophy for Red Single Varietal over £10 was awarded to Bellingham 'The Bernard Series', Bush Vine Pinotage 2010.

The judges comments were:
Pepper, fynbos aromas with a violet and cocoa whiff. Pure dark cherry and plum with good ripeness, slightly herby and meaty on a concentrated inky character. Gorgeous wine - keeps on giving .

The Wine of Origin is Coastal as the grapes came from two vineyards, one in Bottelary, Stellenbosch  and the other in Darling, Swartland.

“In many ways, these two distinct vineyards offer glimpses into the parentage of Pinotage, with the grapes from Darling showing almost Cinsaut biased characters whilst the Bottelary vineyards have a Pinot Noir edge,” says winemaker Niël Groenwald. “The soils are predominantly weathered granite and Malmesbury shale, with the youngest vines being 20 years old. This combination in relation to the two climates afforded low yields, excellent concentration and amazing character in the 2010 vintage.” 

Congratulations to Niël and his team and all at Bellingham. 

It is great to see Pinotage win against the best red wines of the world!


01 September 2012

Pinotage Top 10 Winners - 2012

Announced yesterday at Webersburg Wine Estate are this years winners of the Pinotage Association ABSA Top 10 Competition

  •  Altydgedacht 2011
  •  Diemersdal 2011 
  •  Durbanville Hills 'Rhinofields' 2011
  •  Painted Wolf  'Guillermo' 2009
  •  Rijks 2008
  •  Simonsig 'Redhill' 2010
  •  Spier '21 Gables' 2010
  •  Swartland 'Bush Vines' 2010
  •  Wellington Wines 'La Cave' 2010
  •  Windmeul 'Reserve' 2011

Nice to see some first time winners in among the repeat winners and regulars.   

Congratulations to them all.