30 June 2014

WOTM - Niel Joubert 2011

My Wine of the Month for June is Niel Joubert Estate Pinotage 2011, WO Paarl.
On the last weekend of the month we were on the south-east coast to walk the coastal path from Ramsgate to Margate.
I was delighted to find this quality Pinotage on the list of the Minster Tandoori Indian restaurant in that small country village.
It was a hot day but the wine was correctly served cool which allowed the wine’s crisp spiciness to shine.  There’s some oak in the background giving structure and over time some smokiness – a hint of barbeque charcoal – which ideally matched the tandoori grilled meat.
This delicious fruity spicy wine with a smoky oak twist is a worthy WOTM.

25 June 2014

Pinotage in Michigan

3 North Vines is a new estate near Lexington, Michigan which has planted two varieties new to the region. One of these is Pinotage which in 2009 they first to plant  in Michigan and 2011 saw their first Pinotage vintage.

Owner Nate Shopbell tells me that he fell in love with Pinotage after visiting Kanonkop Estate and many others when he visited South Africa in 2006.

"We have been growing about an acre of Pinotage which we had grafted ourselves onto rootstock that we planted in 2009," he says.  "We have been really happy with our wine quality from our two harvests so far of those vines.  This past winter was a particularly harsh one for the Midwest and unfortunately I have a fair amount of loss both from Crown Gall and winter cold damage."