01 January 2023

WoTM - L'Avenir Single Block 02 Pinotage 2015

My Wine of the Month for December 2022 is L’Avenir Estate Single Block 02 Pinotage 2015. 

It is a registered Single Vineyard  Estate Wine of Origin Stellenbosch, and Block 02 is pictured in gold on the label on an image taken from a satellite photo. The block was planted by the then viticulturist and winemaker François Naudé in 1985 as bush vines, but subsequently changed to low trellising. This wine was made by Dirk Coetzee.

Although almost eight years old, it seems still youthful, full of power. But there's grace too. Tannins have melted to the far background allowing sweet fruit to take centre stage. It's a big wine, and much as I enjoyed it I was wondering what it'd be like with another couple of years. Ah well, that was my last bottle.

30 November 2022

WoTM - Sutter Ridge 1996 Pinotage

My Wine of The Month for November is Sutter Ridge 1996.  

When I visited this winery in Amador County long ago it was growing 25 acres of Pinotage, the largest in the USA. I brought this bottle home but kept it too long.

But no, this 26-year-old wine was delicious. Showing the brownness of age, of course, but plenty of sweet fruit. No tannin, and surprisingly little sediment. A beautiful delicate wine.

The winery was pressurised by another winery with a similar name to change its name, but it now appears to have closed.

27 November 2022

Platter 5 Star Wines for 2023

 Platter's South African Wine Guide has announced its 5 Star wine for the 2023 Guide. Pinoate 5Stars are:

Beeslaar 2020

De Grendel Amandelboord 2020

Diemersdal Prospect 2020

Francois van Niekerk 2020

illimis 2021

Kaapzicht Steytler 2020

Kanonkop Black Label 2020*

Survivor Reserve 2020

Red Blends, with Pinotage

Beyerskloof Faith 2018*

* = Category Winner

08 November 2022

RIP Pat Del-Gatto

Pat Del-Gatto

Very sad news from Ontario. Pat Del-Gatto winemaker/owner of Del-Gatto Estates passed away on 15 Sept 2022 from complications following a stem cell transplant.

His widow, Heidi, tells me

We had wonderful 2020 and 2021 Pinotage vintages - both quickly sold out.


He was able to finish his 2021 vintages (as I always helped him with the work) and our kids completed all the bottling spring 2022 while he was in hospital.

See the report of my meeting with Pat when I visited Del-Gatto Estates by clicking here.


31 October 2022

WoTM - De Grendel 'Amandelboord' Pinotage, Durbanville 2019


My Wine of The Month for October is De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2019 (Estate Wine of Origin Durbanville).

This is a most enjoyable new style Pinotage. Its dark red with bright clear ed highlights where it catches the light. Surprisingly the label states it's 15% abv because it doesn't show the alcohol.

Subdued tannins, no leather tones, but fruit of the forest on the palate and finished all too soon.

08 October 2022

Pinotage Day is Today


Which Pinotage shall I open? Which Pinotage will you open?

07 October 2022

It was never the grape’s fault says Beyerskloof winemaker Anri Truter

“It was never the grape’s fault,” Beyerskloof winemaker Anri Truter says of the historical perception of Pinotage in the UK. 

This is the first sentence in Drinks Retailer, a UK off- trade magazine, on Pinotage titled Can South African Pinotage make a comeback? – an analysis by Lucy Britner.

Read the article here