A proudly South African varietal, Pinotage is known as our country’s signature variety and is currently planted all over the world, and this year we celebrate this noble grape on 12 October. Although traditionally best enjoyed during the colder months, Pinotage can be enjoyed throughout the year – savoured on its own, or paired with that perfect dish.
Embracing their South African heritage let’s take a glimpse at who in and around the Franschhoek Valley offer Pinotage as part of their range:
Allée Bleue’s Ultra Premium wines – their Flagship range – is all about sourcing site specific grapes from manicured vineyards driven by their individuality and thus producing a range of wines with distinct character and taste. As wine blending is often referred to as an art, this is where they make their masterpieces. Not only blending cultivars, but putting deferent terroirs together to make perfection almost possible. Included in this line up is their Pinotage 2017, which winemaker Van Zyl du Toit describes as being an intense brick red colour with bold fruit flavours, reminiscent of ripe cherries and plums, which are followed by sweet vanilla pods, liquorice and hints of cedar wood. The palate is rich, soft and very elegant. According to him it’s a full flavoured Pinotage, which perfectly depicts the terroir and cultivar.
Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Cape of Good Hope range forms part of South Africa’s Old Vines Initiative, and the wines in this portfolio are made from some of the oldest vines found in our country. This stellar range comprises terroir-specific wines created in celebration of South Africa’s 365-year-old vinous heritage, which includes their Basson Pinotage 2017. Mixed spice mingles with dark plum punctuated by whiffs of leather on the nose. The palate follows through with interesting flavours of clove and savoury smokiness, which delights with a soft and focused tannin structure and lingering after taste. For more information on this superb wine visit www.capeofgoodhopewines.com.
With a history dating back to 1693, Bellingham Wines is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms and is also home to their Bush Vine Pinotage 2017 (part of the company’s Bernard Series), which is described as a sensual rendition of South Africa’s signature indigenous variety. Hand-harvested from low yielding, unirrigated bush vines, with black cherry, mulberry and raspberry fruit, an earthy minerality and beautiful oak integration. The best description for this wine collector’s dream is a deep ruby colour with tints of purple on the rim. Liberal black cherry, ripe mulberry and raspberry confit aromas are followed by plum pudding, smoked meat flavours and savoury hints of truffle, as well as good spice oak integration on the long, succulent finish. Drinking well already, it promises to develop savoury richness, secondary intrigue and definitive smoothness with up to 10 years bottle maturation.
Now that we’ve given you a taste of the excellent Pinotage wines you can expect to find from our producers, we invite you to explore our valley to discover a few more gems.
Cheers to International Pinotage Day.