31 October 2019

WoTM - Neethlingshof Owl Post Pinotage 2015

My Wine of The Month for October is  Neethlingshof Estate 'Owl Post' Pinotage 2015.

Owl Post is a barrel selection from hand picked single vineyard Pinotage, named after posts erected through-out the vineyard.  

Neethingshof says “The Owl Post recognises Neethlinghof’s integrated pest management system. Owls play an important role in keeping rodent infestations in check (and without the use of chemicals). To encourage the return of these nocturnal birds of prey to the estate, Neethlingshof successfully erected breeding-friendly owl posts in the vineyards.”

Winemaker De Wet Viljoen told me that he thought the 2015 Owl Post would reach its best in 2019.

On pouring it was opaque, a dense dusty red/black damson colour. On the nose there's cedarwood and berry fruits. This is a serious wine, slowly revealing dark plums, damsons and cherries, with a hint of tobacco and leather. Though enjoyable drinking now, this is one that will last.

12 October 2019

Pinotage Day is Today

Today, 12 October, is International Pinotage Day 2019. 

Join me in celebrating with a glass of Pinotage.

07 October 2019

Kanonkop Pinotage Tasting at Vivat Bacchus

To London’s Farringdon Vivat Bacchus Restaurant and Wine Bar for a tasting of five Kanonkop Estate  Pinotages from 1993 to 2000.

There are 14 of us in the lower basement room. Our host is South African owner Gerrie Knoetze. The bottles, which come from the restaurant's cellar, were opened an hour before the start of the 7pm tasting.

We have a fresh ISO glass for each wine, which are served in turn. All wines are the Estate bottling.

Gerrie starts with a brief history of wine in the Cape, Pinotage and Kanonkop.

Gerrie Knoetze

1993 – it’s hard to realise this wine is 26 and a half years old. It has good colour though fading and light bodied. It’s quite austere, offering flavours of dried fruit, leather and tobacco.

1995 – slight vegetal nose, light bodied but lots more fruit on the palate. With time in the glass, and returning to it we are surprised how it has opened and added mocha to its flavours
1997 – touch of mustiness on the nose, and colour is fading. While there’s richer fruit flavours, this tastes older and more closed

1998 – darker colour, cedar wood, strawberry and cherry tastes, enjoyable drinking

2000 – tastes young, fresh rich deep colour, beautiful sweet berry fruit flavours.

A vote on the favourite wine of the night was split between the 1998 and 2000.

A Pair of Pinotage Podcasts

Beyers Truter cellar master and owner of Beyerskloof was on air at Cape Talk 567AM Radio talking Cape Blends with wine writer Malu Lamber and host Zain Johnson.

Why have a Cape Blend starring Pinotage? Beyers says "If you taste a Bordeaux blend, it reminds you of Bordeaux. If you taste an Italian blend, it reminds you of Italy. You taste a Cape Blend, it reminds you of the Cape". 

The talk, which lasts 17 minutes, can be listened to here.

In the USA Johan Malan, cellar master and owner of Simonsig was interviewed by Scott Greenberg of Washington D.C.'s WTOP 103.5 FM  Radio. Johan discusses the role Pinotage plays in Simonsig's Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose MCC sparkler, the history of Simonsig  and their Redhill Pinotage.

They open and taste Simonsig wines and Scott Greenberg says: "Until now, I was generally not a fan of Pinotage. But the 2016 Simonsig Estate Redhill Pinotage made me a big fan of the hearty red grape."

The interview, which lasts 46 minutes, can be listened to here. The same page has Scott Greenberg's notes on the wines they tasted.


02 October 2019

Upcoming Kanonkop Pinotage Tasting in London

Five mature vintages of Kanonkop Estate's Pinotage will be poured next 7pm, Monday 7 October, at a tasting organised by London's Vivat Bacchus restaurant.

The wines, from Vivat Bacchus's cellar, will be tasted from oldest to youngest, starting with 1993 vintage, then 1995, 1997, 1998 and finishing with 2000.

Tickets cost £39 plus booking fee. Attendees are offeredt a 15% discount on food and wine when they eat at the restaurant before or after the tasting.

See you there!

Details and booking here