31 August 2017

WoTM - Remhoogte ‘Bush Vine’ Pinotage 2015.

My Wine of the Month for August is Remhoogte ‘Bush Vine’ Pinotage 2015, an estate wine from Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. 

I’ve not had many Remhoogte wines but I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve encountered. The estate is on the R44 just north of Stellenbosch and as I recall you can observe zebras in the neighbouring game park from the tasting room.

Unfortunately their wines don’t appear to be available where I live and I brought this bottle home with me from my Cape visit earlier this year.

It is robed with a garnet and sweet fruit with underlying power and an oak creaminess. I can’t find any details of this wine on their irritating website but according to the back label this is  hand harvested from 2 hectares of bush vines. Wild yeast fermentation is in 7000 litre open topped French oak vats and the wine aged for 18 months in French oak barriques. 

Delicious and a perfect example of how classic Pinotage should be.

04 August 2017

2017 Winners- Pinotage Top 10 Competition

Winners of the 21st Pinotage Top competition were announced yesterday, 3 August, with the presentation of trophies at Cavalli estate near Somerset West in the Cape. They were, in alphbetical order:
  • Delheim Pinotage 2012, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Altus Treurnicht
  • Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Reserve 2015, WO Wellington, Winemaker Francoise Roode
  • Flagstone Writer’s Block Single Vineyard Pinotage 2015, WO Breedekloof, Winemaker Gerhard Swart
  • Kanonkop Estate Pinotage 2012, WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar
  • Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2014, WO Jonkershoek Valley, Winemaker Wynand Lategan
  • Môreson MKM 2015, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Clayton Reabow
  • Neil Ellis Bottelary Hills Pinotage 2015, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis
  • Stellenbosch Vineyards Bushvine Pinotage 2015, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abraham de Villiers
  • Wellington Wines La Cave Pinotage 2016, WO Wellington, Winemakers Francois van Niekerk & Chris Smit
  • Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2015, WO Paarl/Coastal, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden  

The panel of judges were Neil Ellis of Neil Ellis Wines (chair), wine educator and consultant Nomonde Kubheka, winemaker Corlea Fourie of Bosman Family Vineyards, Francois Rautenbach of Singita Premier Wine Direct, viticulturist Stephan Joubert of Douglas Green Bellingham (DGB).

Beyers Truter, chair and founder of the Pinotage Association, said 

“One of the objectives in creating the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition was to improve the quality and perceptions of this lovely, uniquely South African wine, and, looking at the standard of the finalists this year as well as the degree to which Pinotage has been embraced, we are definitely on the right track. Pinotage is a grape that needs special viticultural and winemaking techniques. It can be tough and demanding, but when you get it right the rewards are astonishing, world-class masterpieces” 

Beyers Truter  thanked Absa, sponsor of  the competition, as the Pinotage Association’s long term “partner in wine”and “a crucial part in the expansion of our beloved Pinotage.”

There were 147 entries in the 2017 Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition, and with around half of the 21 finalists and six winners from Stellenbosch wineries. 

It was a first time win for Stellenbosch Vineyards. The other nine have multiple wins under their belt, with Kanonkop Estate making 2017 a record twelfth win.  

For the first time producers were invited to also submit entries in a Museum Class  for  wines 10 years and older.  

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Jonkershoek Pinotage 2007

Runners- up
Neethlingshof Pinotage 1999
Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2007
Lanzerac Pinotage 1992

Congratulations to all.