31 July 2013

WOTM Delheim Bush Vine Barrel Selection 2007 Pinotage

My Wine of the Month for July is my last bottle of Delheim Bush Vine Barrel Selection Pinotage 2007.

 Just four 225 litre barrels (new French oak, aged for 13 months) were selected for this special bottling, so that’s no more than 1,200 bottles or 100 cases produced. I don’t know if this was available anywhere else than the winery where it cost 120 Rand in 2009, about twice the cost of the standard bottling.

I accounted for case of it myself when I was in the Cape in 2009 and also brought a few bottles home of which this was the last. We drank most of them in Delheim’s glorious garden restaurant with friends.

 One was American author Tom Mullen who later wrote about lunching at Delheim in his book Wine and Work - People Loving Life

“There weaver birds live in a huge oak tree on acres of land coated by pine trees and fynbos vegetation. We sit on a porch overlooking lush greenery with a view of distant Table Mountain. While drinking a glass of Pinotage I eat ostrich meatballs with organic cabbage, then follow that with a dessert of Pinotage ice cream – the color of blue berries.”


I remember how lush the wine was then, how exciting and vibrant with rich plum and berry fruit flavours and a spiciness that made your mouth water in anticipation of the next sip. This wine is now starting to show signs of aging, with the upfront fruit receding uncovering more complexity, and it’d be interesting to see how it would develop, but I’ve no regrets because I have so loved drinking this wine.  

24 July 2013

Pinotage Recipe Competition

I was taken with Christiaan Steyn’s recipe for Ostrich skewers with Pinotage Onion Marmalade and Sweetcorn soufflé, particularly his instruction at the end of the second sentence

Start a coal fire.
Boil the kettle, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, clean the sweet corns, pour your first glass of Pinotage.

Christiaan blogs about food at TASTE BUDS and his recipe for Karoo Tapas is an entry in a competition run by South African supermarket chain Pick’n’Pay. They list a set of ingredients and challenge food bloggers to produce a meal from them.
The current challenge is to use traditional South African ingredients: DrostdyHof Pinotage, Ostrich sausage, maize meal, Waterblommetijes (water lily flowers – a local delicacy), Chutney and mixed dried fruit. One of the ingredients may be omitted and contestants are allowed to add some, but part of the meal must be cooked over coals.
Christiaan’s recipe is here and you are invited to vote for it by pressing the green button.
The competition score board with links to all recipes entered is here. As far as I can see, Christiaan is the only one who had the very good sense to enjoy the Pinotage he didn't use in the recipe while cooking.
Image (c) Copyright Christiaan Steyn at  TASTE BUDS and used with his permission.

18 July 2013

Kanonkop launch red Kadette Pinotage

Kanonkop are launching a new varietal red Pinotage under their Kadette label with the 2012 vintage due for release sometime in next two or three months. The Kadette label, named in homage to Bordeaux’s Ch Mouton-Rothschild ‘Mouton Cadet’ was originally a blend of wines that didn’t make it into Kanonkop’s main labels.

As demand for Kadette grew output could only be increased by using bought in grapes. The 2010 vintage saw a Kadette rosé made from Pinotage join the lineup, and now, with the 2012 vintage a red Pinotage.

The red Kadette Pinotage is made and barrel matured for 14 months at Kanonkop and will cost between 5 and 10% more than the Kadette Red.

My thinking  is that Kadette is now the name for Kanonkop’s non-estate  wines, i.e. those made from grapes not grown on the estate.

However I can see myself ordering Kanonkop Pinotage from a restaurant winelist and getting Kadette while being charged the Estate wine price, as has happened recently with L’Avenir who also have three Pinotage labels.