31 December 2013
29 December 2013
Mike collates scores awarded during the year to South African wines by judges at blind-tastings around the world during the year.
For the full list of top Pinotages, plus the best wines costing under 100 ZAR, see Top Wine SA
30 November 2013
I don’t know anything about this wine other than Cape Spring appears to be a brand of French drinks’ company Grands Chais de France (GCF) and this wine was bulk shipped and bottled by GCF at their Caves De Landiras Winery, France, in airline sized 187.5ml plastic screw-capped bottles. It was then imported to the UK for British Airways by specialist suppliers to the travel industry Ratcliffe & Brown.
25 November 2013
Abrie Beeslaar, winemaker Kanonkop Estate, has launched his own eponymous label with 4700 bottles of a single vineyard 2012 Pinotage.
Christian Eedes says it is 'magnificent' - his review is here.
Abries' site at www.beeslaar.co.za has details and a technical sheet about his new wine.
23 November 2013
Forget Pinotage's genetics and concentrate on what's in the glass and how it was grown and made is the sensible conclusion of Bertus van Niekerk's thoughtful and interesting article Why you need to forget everything you know about Pinotage’s genetics at wine.co.za
13 November 2013
The Trophy, which is sponsored by The Pinotage Association, was presented this evening at the International Wine and Spirits Competition's awards ceremony in London's 800 year-old Guildhall to KWV Wines by Peter F May representing The Pinotage Association.
May, (centre in photograph) an Honorary Member of The Pinotage Association, said "I am proud to present the Trophy on behalf of The Pinotage Association this evening. The IWSC Abraham Perold Trophy honours the creator of Pinotage, it encourages winemakers to achieve ever better wines from the variety and it recognises those who do. KWV The Mentors 2011 is one superb example of the fine wine Pinotage is capable of."
31 October 2013
30 September 2013
Richard Parker of Altydgedacht Estate in Durbanville talks Pinotage and introduces the Estates's new Ralph Parker export label for those who, like me, struggle to pronounce Altydgedacht.
I thought I'd got the hang of I'll take d' dog but listening to Richard's pronunciation it's clear I'll have more success asking for a bottle of Ralph Parker in a South African restaurant.
28 September 2013
Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Perold Absa Cape Blend Competition:
Anura LB 'Cape Cuvée' 2012
Clos Malverne 'Spirit of Malverne' 2011
KWV 'Abraham Perold Tributum' 2011
Sumaridge 'Epitome' 2009
Viljoensdrift 'River Grandeur Cape Blend' 2011
This year, exceptionally, five winners were chosen instead of the usual three. The winning winemakers will enjoy a foreign trip as their prize.
KWV Abraham Perold Tributum also won last year, the only wine to win the competition twice. Anura will be double celebrating because their varietal Pinotage was a Top 10 winner this year.
45 wines from 35 producers were entered.
The make-up of the winning blends are as follows
Anura: Pinotage (34%), Merlot (17%), Shiraz (17%), Cabernet Franc (17%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%)
Clos Malvern: Pinotage (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Shiraz (17%)
KWV: Pinotage (30%), Shiraz (40%), Cabernet Franc (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15% )
Sumaridge: Shiraz (54%),Pinotage (46%)
Viljoensdrift: Pinotage (30%), Merlot (44%), Shiraz (24%), Cabernet Sauvignon (2%).
Interesting to see that Shiraz is a component in every winner. Shiraz seems to complement Pinotage. I recall Warwick Estate added Shiraz to their Three Cape Ladies blend years ago, and I remember Guy Webster of Stellenzicht telling me his 50/50 Pinotage/Shiraz blend being the best wine he'd made.
27 September 2013
I received more emails about my April WOTM Houdamond Pinotage 2009 than any other single brand, most asking where it could be purchased as their local store didn't have it.
Houdamond is Bellevue Estate's 'Morkel' Pinotage with an exclusive label for Marks & Spencer and the 2009 sold out fast.
Now Houdamond has returned. I saw the 2010 vintage in my local M&S today. The M &S website also has it - although the website says it is the 2012 vintage which I think is unlikely and probably a mistake.
If you want it, dive in while you can.
19 September 2013
06 September 2013
|Black Elephant Vintners logo|
01 September 2013
Winners of this years Pinotage Top 10 Competition are
Anura Pinotage Reserve 2011
The Back Roads Pinotage 2012
Diemersdal Pinotage 2012
L'Avenir Pinotage 2011
Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage 2012
Manley Pinotage 2011
Rijk's Reserve Pinotage 2009
Rooiberg Winery Pinotage Reserve 2012
Springfontein Jonathan's Ridge Pinotage 2010
Wildekrans Pinotage 2011
Back Road comes from a winery I've not previously encountered (or even heard of), Black Elephant Vintners in Franschhoek.
Congratulations to them and all the winners and runners up
Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2012
Fairview Primo Pinotage 2011
Kanonkop Pinotage 2010
Kanonkop Pinotage 2009
KWV The Mentors Pinotage 2011
Môreson Pinotage 2011
Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2011
Wagenboom Pinotage 2010
Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2012
Windmeul Pinotage 2011
The Pinotage Association says: Pinotage stalwarts L’Avenir in Stellenbosch and Tulbagh’s Rijk’s Private Cellar joined relative newcomers including Black Elephant Vintners from Franschhoek in the winning line-up for this year’s Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition.
This year’s Absa Top 10 Trophy winners underscored the belief that excellent soils and climatic conditions for Pinotage are found throughout the Cape winelands. Besides L’Avenir, Stellenbosch produced winners in Lyngrove Wines’ Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage 2012, while Manley Pinotage 2011 from Manley Private Cellar also got the nod for Tulbagh. Franschhoek is represented by The Back Roads Pinotage 2012 from Black Elephant Vintners, with the Anura Pinotage Reserve 2011 sealing the Paarl slot.
Closer to the coast there is Springfontein Jonathan Ridge Pinotage 2010 from Stanford and Wildekrans Pinotage 2011 in the Botrivier area. Robertson’s Rooiberg Winery also takes a Top 10 with its Rooiberg Winery Pinotage Reserve 2012 and the Diemersdal Pinotage 2012 ensures that one of South Africa’s oldest wine-making areas, namely Durbanville, also makes the list of this year’s winners.
This year’s Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition attracted 126 entries.
L’Avenir and Rijk’s Private Cellar cemented their status as two Pinotage wine icons by winning their eighth Absa Top 10 Pinotage Trophy. Since its launch in 1997 the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition has become South Africa’s leading showcase for the country’s own grape variety, and according to Beyers Truter, chairman of the Pinotage Association, for any cellar to win eight Absa Top 10 Trophies in 16 years is a monumental achievement.
“Apart from having to impress a discerning panel of judges each year, the competition among cellars has increased in intensity over the years,” says Beyers. “For a winery such as L’Avenir to win an Absa Top 10 Trophy at the inaugural competition in 1997 and to still have what it takes to come out top in 2013, is an amazing achievement. It not only says a lot about the respective wine-making teams’ commitment to Pinotage and their understanding of the grape’s unique intricacies, but also speaks volumes of the importance of established terroir in the specific regions.”
L’Avenir won Top 10 Trophies in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Rijk’s Private Cellar in Tulbagh produced Trophy winners in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 before reaching the magic number eight at this year’s Top 10 awards. The two cellars’ winning wines were the L’Avenir Pinotage 2011 and Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2009.
"For 17 years now, Absa has been the driving force behind the Top 10 Pinotage competition, enticing wine makers every year to aim for one of the prestigious trophies. Our partnership with this competition reflects our long-standing commitment not only to the Pinotage Association but to the SA wine industry in general. This competition encourages the growth of this vibrant sector which has an enormous contribution to make in the economic landscape of our country," says Brienne van der Walt, Managing Executive: Absa AgriBusiness.
Internationally-respected sommelier, restaurateur and author Guido Francque is one of the wine world’s most ardent admirers of South Africa’s Pinotage grape variety, and the Belgian says the quality of Pinotage wines are showing vast improvements as wine-makers and viticulturalists put their fingerprint on the cultivar.
Francque said the 126 entries from 80 producers was the most impressive line-up he had experienced in his years of judging the Top 10.
“I have been following Pinotage for over 20 years now, so have seen pretty much all that the South African wine-makers have employed in making your country’s signature wine variety in terms of extraction, wood-maturation and levels of ripeness,” says Francque.
“One thing that struck me about this year’s entries was the discernible classical structure among so many of the wines entered. Less American oak – an experiment which I think does not work so well with Pinotage – and a nurturing of the variety’s Pinot Noir and Burgundian character has led to some truly extraordinary wines.”
According to Francque, a classic wine is both feminine and masculine. “It needs the feminine elegance and lightness, just as much as the masculine structure and back-bone must be present,” he says. “This is being found in more-and-more Pinotage wines as wine-makers achieve balance and integration.”
One of the striking features of this year’s ABSA Top 10 judging experience, he says, was the vintage variation among the wines. “The entries produced wines from 2007 to 2012, and experiencing such noticeable variation in the vintages was, for me, extremely exciting as it not only showed expressive character of Pinotage, but also vindicates my belief in South Africa as a wine country with true terroir that allows for such different expressions between vintages.”
This year’s judging for the Absa Top 10 took place at Nederburg. On the panel with Francque were: Duimpie Bayly, Chairman, Neil Pendock, Winnie Bowman, Chris Roux, Frans Smit and Debbie Thompson.
31 August 2013
23 August 2013
2012 Anura LB Cape Cuveé
2011 Clos Malverne Spirit of Malverne
2011 Flagstone Dragon Tree
2011 KWV Abraham Perold Tributum
2011 Namaqua Cellar Door Pinotage/Malbec
2009 Sumaridge Epitome
2011 Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Cape Blend
2011 Warwick Three Cape Ladies
2010 Welbedacht Hat Trick
2012 Windmeul Cape Blend
The three winners and two runners-up will be announced on 20 September 2013.
This year's finalists KWV and Windmeul were winners last year with their 2010 Cape Blends.
10 August 2013
Now comes a world first from Canada: Pinotage Icewine.
Stoneboat Vineyards, near Oliver in British Columbia’s southern Okanagen Valley, picked their frozen grapes on 11 January 2013 at minus 11 degrees Celsius (12.2F) and 39 Brix.
The resulting icewine, sold in a frosted half-sized bottles, is a lively pink colour with 8.3% abv and residual sugar of 230g/L, TA 12.3 g/L and pH 3.43.
Owner-winemaker Lanny Martiniuk says it “has intense aromas of fresh raspberry and candied apple. Subtle notes of dried cranberry and raisin are nicely balanced by spicy undertones on the palate. Cellar now through 2025”.
Stoneboat Pinotage Icewine 2012 is available at the winery for $74.90 CDN per 375ml bottle.
Congratulations to Stoneboat Vineyards!
See here for videos from my visit to Stoneboat
01 August 2013
Anura Pinotage Reserve
Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage
The Back Roads Pinotage
Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve
KWV SA Pty Ltd
KWV The Mentors Pinotage
Manley Private Cellar
Rijk's Reserve Pinotage
Rooiberg Winery Pinotage Reserve
Simonsig Pinotage Redhill
Springfontein Wine Estate
Jonathan Ridge Pinotage
Windmeul Pinotage Reserve
Among the well known names and previous winners is a name new to me of which I know nothing, - Black Elephant Back Roads Pinotage. Also new to me is the Wine of Origin (WO) 'Kusstreek' which I cannot find on any WO list but according to Google translations Kusstreek is Afrikaans for 'Coastal'.
Congratulations to all.