01 December 2023

WoTM - Cloof 'Winemakers Reserve' Pinotage 2020

My Wine of The Month for November is Cloof 'Winemakers Reserve' Pinotage 2020.

On removing the cork the room was filled with a bouquet of plums, and red fruits. Unfortunately that initial generosity wasn't followed through on the tongue; the wine was enjoyable but seemed a bit closed. Does it need keeping longer or was the cork to blame?

31 October 2023

WoTM - Laibach Pinotage 2018

My Wine of The Month of October is Laibach 2018.

The previous vintage was my wine of the month in July 2022 and at that time I noted that the owners 

had sold the winery in April 2022 and retired to Germany. Near neighbours Kanonkop Estate are the new owners and they immediately renamed the place Ladybird Vineyards

I thought that 2017 vintage would be the last Laibach I would have and I was a little disappointed with it. But I found this bottle in an independent wine shop a long way from my home and it's a cracker with deep juicy plummy flavours and underlying soft tannins. 

With the sale in 2022 I may yet find more Laibachs. I look forward to them.

30 September 2023

WoTM - Niel Joubert 'Patrysbult' Pinotage 2018

 My Wine of The Month of September is Niel Joubert 'Patrysbult' Pinotage  2018.

Pale red, bright fruit flavours, but overbalanced by alcohol.

This wine doesn't appear in Platter or Niel Joubert's web site which has an 2018 Estate Pinotage, but that is unwooded and only 13.03% abv while this is wooded . Maybe it's an export label, but it's not the most enjoyable Niel Joubert Pinotage I've had.

01 September 2023

WoTM - Rijk's Pinotage Reserve 2016

My Wine of The Month of August is Rijk's Pinotage Reserve 2016

It is a mature wine recently released; I bought it at Wine Village in Hermanus in March 2023. 

It spent 22 months in 60% new French oak barrels and was made by the skilled Pierre Wahl. The Reserve is taken from the 20 best barrels.

While capable of great aging, this wine is drinking beautifully now, with intense black plum fruit flavours, and the oaking is not obvious. Simply delicious.

31 July 2023

WoTM - Grangehurst Pinotage 2009

My Wine of The Month for July is Grangehurst Pinotage 2009. One might reasonably think I had aged this 14 year old wine in my cellar, but it's the current release and  I bought it only this March, in Wine Village, Hermanus.

Jeremy Walker, winemaker and co-owner of Grangehurst doesn't like to market his wines until they are ready. And ready this was. A delicious mature wine, ripe with deep plummy notes, age softened tannins from 21 months in barrel and background spices.

Perfect, just perfect.

30 June 2023

WoTM - Kaapzicht Estate Rooiland Pinotage 2020

My Wine of The Month for June is Kaapzicht Estate Rooiland Pinotage 2020.

The retro label says it is 'a homage to classic Pinotage' which might put some people off. Their loss. This is a thoroughly modern wine, silky sleek and bursting with black fruit flavours. I am not sure I'd identify it as Pinotage in a blind tasting. It's full bodied, has a great depth of flavour, and - yes- there is that varietal sweetness.

It's name 'rooiland' refers to the red soil in which the unirrigated bush vines were planted in 1995 and 1997.

After fermentation and malo the wine was aged 16-18 months in 300L oak barrels and then concrete tanks till bottling.

It's a tremendous wine by any standard and I've ordered more.

31 May 2023

WoTM - Beaumont 'Jackals River' 2018

 My Wine of The Month for May is Beaumont 'Jackals River' 2018.

It is light in colour, smelling of raspberries. It is also unusually light for Pinotage at 13.5% abv. (The 2021 vintage is 13% abv.)

One of the things that first excited me about Pinotage was that it was made in many different styles. This is a light manifestation, red berries - raspberries and redcurrants - but I found an underlying taste that I couldn't identify.