A pleasant purple with medium density. On the nose I get plums, a faint hint of cinnamon, black cherry and creosote thanks to the 9% addition of Pinotage. The balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. The initial taste is very Pinotage heavy, with more plums, some dark fruits and the telltale chemical note, often likened to nail polish remover. I like it. The wine transitions nicely and some very delightful tannins caress throughout. The flavor profile doesn’t change much throughout and the acidity is very fine, barely noticeable. The finish is relatively long, with the dark fruit balancing nicely with a hint of oak. The bitterness of the tannins is apparent right at the end but is not detracting. This is a tasty weekday wine that I would pop with stew, chili, grilled sausages and even burgers. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
We want to my mate Mel’s 60th birthday bash last night and being from South Africa they had this on offer. I love the varietal and had to try it.
See-through purple in the glass with a nose of burnt cherry and creosote, very enticing. The initial taste is black cherry, smoke, espresso bean and some lithe tannins. The 14% alcohol peaks through on the midpalate and promptly goes away. The finish is of medium length and is laced with tannins and dark fruit. 88 points make this $11 wine a decent value, especially if you like the unique taste of Pinotage. 3 stars from me. Salut….
My father asked me what I wanted for Christmas. He has 3 sons, 2 daughter-in-laws and 5 grand kids. I wanted something that would not bankrupt the man, but would mean something to me. I told him “a bottle of wine”. He hit it, right on the head with this banger. I am so surprised at this wine and am super happy that my dad got it for me.
In case you haven’t read my notes about Pinotage, I love this varietal. It is a quirky oddball only found in Afrique du Sud and made really well in Stellenbosch.
Reddish purple in the glass with a nose of tar, beautiful violets, black plums and a really nice hint of blueberry right at the and. On the initial attack I get blueberry pie, some tar, cherry and plum jam. The mid palate yields some very entrenched tannins that come out of hiding and balance the acidity. More plums hit after the tannins and they lead you into a really nice dry finish of vanilla, coffee bean, and berry. Really good, a delicious wine. 91 points and at a shocking price point of $15 this is my first 5 star wine of the year. Kudos to dad for popping this bad boy under the tree, he has hit wine nirvana. I drank it with braised Beef ribs and purple potatoes. Heaven! I hope you have a wine that has significant meaning that hits it on all cylinders too. Salut….
Nearly black in complexion showed me that this is a very extracted wine. The nose is somewhat muted but a few swirls in the glass begin to reveal some black cherries and the telltale tar/creosote that makes Pinotage so unique. It is a cross breed of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut only found in South Africa.
The first taste is all I expected. Smoke, bramble and cherry hints are all present. Licorice presents itself halfway through. The wine offers a short burst of tannin followed by that tarry mid palate taste that I really enjoy from this varietal. It has a nice mouthfeel, crossing from the tannic thrust over to a slightly tart acidic finish that carries some earthy components. I like this wine a lot. The 14.5% alcohol is well masked, making this a great pairing with some grilled beef. I would drink this over the next 5 years at the least. 91 points and 4 stars for this $38 offering. Salut….
We went out to dinner with friends and I was intrigued by this South African offering. It retails for $13 in stores but did not get great peer reviews.
Coffee. Lots of it, on the nose, palate and finish. Earth and dark mocha in the initial surge with sour cherries on the mid palate. Typical pinotage but with a gruff ending. I made brief comments about Iodine and Beef Jerky flavors. 87 points from me and 3 stars. Salut….
I have spent the past five weeks on a training course in Hong Kong, paired up with my friend ‘The Beave’. Last night was our last proper dinner before the course ends and he decided on a steak house for the gang. There were 10 of us and we proceeded to order copious amounts of beer before dinner as we settled in to our boys night out. I ordered Lamb Cutlets when we were seated and was promptly handed the wine list by some eager Steak eaters. I chose this Stellenbosch Pinotage as I figured it would have the flavor to hold up to to the Lamb and Mint sauce in addition to being smooth enough for the others Filets.
I really enjoy well made Pinotage and have been on a mission to seek it out as much as possible. This wine was no exception. It was a dark purple offering that had plum aromas and a touch of cedar on the nose. The first taste confirmed my choice as correct. This wine exploded with dark plums and black cherries with some good oak integration. Spicebox and sandalwood came through on the mid palate and the tannins were fine and refreshing. A balanced mouthfeel is always appreciated and the acidity was ever so slight yet present. The weight of the wine was perfect for the mint sauce and the boys really enjoyed theirs with the steaks. Restaurants always gouge on the prices so I will go with the retail pricing of about $17. I feel this is a 90 point wine worth seeking out, 4 stars from me. Salut….
When eating at a South African restaurant, it’s obligatory to drink Pinotage. I am really digging this grape as the winemakers have transformed it from lazy plonk to good quality table wine. Originally derived by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsault varietals, it is only grown in South Africa. This particular one was ordered to go along with some rather awesome Ribeyes. Dark purple in the glass, it gave off the telltale notes of plum and oak. On the palate, the plums and spice give way to black currants and a decent grippy finish of dryness from the tannic structure. Medium acidity round the package out and I must say it was a good balance for the steaks. It can be found for about $15 and I rate it 87 points with a 3 star medal. Salut….
This bottle was brought to the weekend retreat by my mate, we’ll call him Johnny. He originally introduced me to Pinotage and I have been a fan ever since. This particular bottle is a ‘Private Collection’ from Stellenbosch that could be had for $25.
Dark and lurking in the glass it offered up generous fruit on the nose. On the first taste it was different from other Pinotages- more serious, complex and richer. I instantly thought of black fruits and figs. Rich oak and a delightful tannin backbone are interlaced with some great acidity. The wine blossomed and offered up some secondary flavors of licorice and earth. A thoroughly enjoyable wine that kicked the flank steaks into high gear. If you have some spare cash and want to broaden your reach, Pinotage is becoming a must-try in my book, this example being rather terrific. 90 points and 5 stars from me. Salut….
A strange varietal only really grown in South Africa, it is growing on me. This wine is dark purple with a brooding thick nose of cherry, kirsch and tobacco. On the palate, very tannic right now, but not obnoxious. I get black berry and some vanilla that is integrating well with the oak. It’s funny how this wine hides its 14% alcohol so nicely (see previous post) yet is in balance and provides good acidity. A well made wine that I am about to enjoy with Roast Pork Tenderloins. 91 points, and 5 stars in my book. If you are looking to expand your wine knowledge, search out this produced and varietal.
An indigenous South African grape that had bad press for many years- Spier has made the climb from the ‘bad wine abyss’ and is on track to make Pinotage a formidable variety. Crossed between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, you can only find it in SA. During Apartheid, the varietal took a slide in quality and reputation. It’s been a battle ever since, but I have faith. I have had other Spier Pinotages, this being their entry-level offering.
On the nose, bing cherry in syrup. On the palate, I can feel heat amongst the plum and cedar shavings. Weighing in at 14.5%, I’m a little surprised. Tannins are evident, giving this wine a structure to evolve for at least 5 years. I would love to re-taste in a few years as I feel it will evolve towards earthy minerality, which excites me. For the price, a definite 4 star wine. If I were a pro, probably 88 points. Juicy, go and try some…..