30 April 2020

WoTM- Fairview Broken Barrel Pinotage-Durif 2017

My Wine of The Month for March is Fairview’s Broken Barrel 2017 which is a blend of Pinotage and Durif aka Peteite Sirah.

Every year the Broken Barrel range features a ‘once only’ blend, after which the barrel is broken – that blend never to be repeated. Which is regrettable in this case because this blend is jolly tasty.

For 2017 the Fairview team paired two varieties that resulted by the hand of man, in this case Dr Abraham I Perold from South Africa and Dr François Durif from France, both of whom are pictured on the attractive label.

The variety credited to Durif (a cross of Syrah and Peloursin) goes under two names, Petite Sirah in the USA and Durif in Australia. Fairview was the first in South Africa to grow the variety and they are currently using Petite Sirah for their varietal but have, in the past, used Durif.  


The Broken Barrel wines are available only from the winery, and I was told by tasting room staff the blend is 50/50 but the fact sheet on Fairview’s website shows Pinotage 46%,  Durif 38% and Tannat 16% and  says  the 'Pinotage is grown in the Swartland and the Durif on the Paarl Mountain as trellised and irrigated vines. Grapes were destemmed, crushed and fermented separately in open top wooden foudres. Pump overs and punch downs were done 3-4 times per day during fermentation to extract flavour, colour and tannins from the berries. Finally, the wine was pressed and matured in barrels for 24 months. A combination of French and American 225L oak barrels were used of which 20% were new.'

The wine has a bouquet of cedar wood and in the glass is almost black, although streaked with ruby highlights when catching the lights.

An intense wine, offering dense flavours of black plums and cherry, with spices. A deeply satisfying wine that I’d love to be able to get more of. 14.1%abv, costing 120 Rand only from Fairview.

I bought this wine at Fairview on 9 March, before wineries started to close and lockdown started.

One can visit the Goat Tower next to an empty car park via the live web-cam at https://www.fairview.co.za/live-cam/


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