26 May 2017

Wonderful Windmeul Pinotage at London Wine Fair

To London for the annual London Wine Fair. It’s much shrunk and they’ve dropped ‘International’ from the name. The vast national pavilions are no more and producers mostly share stands with their UK agents.

I was pleased to see Marius Burger on the Windmeul Winery booth, but sad that the stand was in the area for  producers looking for UK agents. Windmeul make some cracking Pinotages; their Reserve has been a winner in many Top 10 Competitions and also been garlanded with Five Platter Stars. 

Roodekrantz is a label for a wine designed to appeal to the commercial Asian market by being ‘palate friendly and accessible, with less oak and more residual sugar’. The name refers to the label’s red laurel victor's wreath.


 Roodekrantz Pinotage 2015, sealed with a screwcap, is a pale light bodied red, soft fruity and easy to drink on its own.

The standard Windmeul Pinotage 2015 has spent more time – 9 months – in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. This comes from a bush-vine vineyard planted in 1996 (pictured below). It has a deeper colour, is more complex and enjoyable, with food friendly tannins giving a dry finish.
Windmeul's Pinotage Vineyard. Photo courtesy Marius Burger

Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2014 was a Pinotage Top 10 Winner in 2015 and 5 Star Platter winner in 2016. 

“2014 wasn’t such a good year,” Marius told me, “but the Pinotage had ripened and was picked before we had the heavy rains in March.” 

This wine was aged in new French oak barrels and came from the same vineyard block as the standard bottling, but vines destined for the Reserve  undergo crop thinning and selection. This darker, interesting wine gave an initial rush of sweet Pinotage fruit, dark plum and fynbosch herby flavours on top of rewarding complexity. It is a truly beautiful wine that Platter rightly states is benchmark Pinotage.

Marius said the following year they made the 2015 Reserve in a different style, intended for aging and thus was not readily accessible when young, but it is now starting to ‘come round’.

Also tasted was a tank sample of a 100% Pinotage Rosé under the ‘Mill’ label, which was light and refreshing,

Windmeul, Marius told me, should be pronounced Vint-meel.

I do hope Windemeul soon find a UK distributer as it’s far too long since I’ve enjoyed a bottle with dinner; my recent attempts to buy the Reserve on my visits to the Cape have failed as it has been completely sold out.


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