12 November 2017

Bellevue's Pinotage from 1953 Planted Block

Bellevue Estate have released a single vineyard Pinotage made from their  old bush vine Pinotage block planted in 1953 by Pinotage pioneer P K Morkel. 

Previously fruit from this old vineyard had gone into the PK Morkel and other bottlings.

The wine is called 1953 after the year PK planted 2.58 hectares of Pinotage. The following year he added another 3.23 hectares. In those days wines made at Bellevue were sold to Stellenbosch Farmers Winery. It was in 1961 SFW released Bellevues 1959 vintage Pinotage label under their Lanzerac brand, and the rest is, as they say, history.

PK's nephew, viticulturist Dirkie Morkel, looks after the vines today and Wilhelm Kritzinger is the winemaker.

The grapes for the “1953” Pinotage 2016 were hand-picked from the 63 year old bush vines at optimum ripeness. After fermentation and regular pump overs in stainless steel tanks, the wine was matured for 18 months in small French oak barriques. 

“This is a classy Pinotage with great pedigree and heritage,” says Morkel. “Its nose is packed with aromas of plums and maraschino cherries. This follows through on the palate, showing serious refinement, purity of fruit and great complexity and length. The mouthfeel and finish convey integrated, fine-grained tannins partnered by concentrated fruit flavours which linger.”

The wine costs R545 at the cellar.


Bellevue is the last of the four oldest Pinotage vineyards to release such a wine. Uiterwyk has long made 'Top of the Hill', Meerandal were the first to officially register a single vineyard, 'The Heritage Block', and more recently Kanonkop has their 'Black Label' Pinotage.


I've walked Bellevue's original Pinotage block with Dirkie and now I'm looking forward to tasting it.  


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