22 September 2016
Riebeek's Kasteelberg 2013 and Pieter Cruythoff 2014 Pinotages
I’ve followed Riebeek Cellars, located in the now fashionable Swartland, for a long time. They are large volume producer making value wines that exceed expectations, and they also encourage their team to act like boutique winemakers by making separate small lots and experimenting.
Riebeek were showing two Pinotages at WoSA’s London Intrepid show.
First up was Kasteelberg 2014 of which only 22 barrels were made. This is a handmade wine, in that vine blocks destined for it are personally identified and selected by the winemaker, the grapes are picked and sorted by hand then pressed in a hand powered basket press. First and second fill barrels are used then the wine is hand bottled, hand corked and the labels are stuck on by hand. They say they avoid shaking the wine by using these gentle methods.
Surprisingly little of this information is mentioned on the labels.
Kasteelberg Pinotage 2014, named after the castle shaped mountain seen from the winery. has soft sweet fruit and subtle flavours. It shows a restrained elegance and a European feel. A handsome wine in all respects.WO Swartland 14% abv.
Pieter Cruythoff Middlepos Pinotage 2013 is from a single vineyard named Middlepos planted with bush vines between 30 and 40 years ago. This is more expressive than the elegant Kasteelberg, older style and more gawky. The label, named after the founder of Riebeek Cellars, was created for an American importer but I believe is now also being distributed elsewhere.
So, two quite different expressions of the variety; of the two I was taken with Kasteelberg tho' maybe Cruythoff was at a disadvantage by being tasted immediately after.