#NWTW Week 8: Pinotage from South Africa

A very happy Monday to everyone out there.  Hope you’re not too traumatised by Gewurztraminer week and you’re all back for more for week 8.  This time it’s a trip pretty much due south from here down to South Africa for our first trip there for 2014.  And how could we start with anything else other than the country’s very own, hopefully-soon-to-be-flagship red wine, Pinotage.

Pinotage is produced fairly readily by both big producers and now more and more by premium producers looking to stamp their mark on South Africa’s grape of difference.  That’s a good thing, it means there’s plenty to get hold of at your local shop.  I’ve gone for the following picks, and Ant will follow up with his own, but there’s usually more than one Pinotage on the shelf, so by all means get as many tried as possible and let us know what you think.

This week’s picks from me are…

Majestic Wine
Barista 2013 Pinotage, Western Cape
£7.49 (when you buy 2 as part of a mixed case)

Signature 2012 Pinotage, Western Cape

Kanonkop Kadette 2011 Pinotage, Stellenbosch
£7.99 (on the shelves, not on the website)

Spirited Wines
They don’t do one!  Gutted!  They asked me to pass on their apologies…

So just 3 bottles for me this week.  I might even make it to the gym the morning after!


17 thoughts on “#NWTW Week 8: Pinotage from South Africa”

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  5. I was rather chuffed when PBMMW announced that this week was SA Pinotage as it gave me an excuse to re-visit an extremely pleasant example from Roberson Wine that I recently discovered.

    Lam 2011 from Lammershoeck (£13.95) was a real eye-opener for me when I first tried it and was equally impressive again tonight.

    I developed a proper thirst for trying more unfiltered, unfined wines after a half case of Clos Mimi last year, so this opaque, lightly extracted effort from SA really tickled me.

    The nose is pure cherryade up front with secondary vaporous toasty notes.
    However, the palate truly comes alive with what some might think of as over the top acidity but I love it. The taste reminds me of the cheap supermarket cola my Mum used to buy instead of the ‘Real Thing’-not sure why this is appealing to me but it is! I think if my 6 yr old daughter could drink wine she would love this as it would be an adequate replacement for her fizzy cola bottle treats!

    This strikes me as a bit of a Marmite grape variety and this version of it especially so, but I love anything that dares to be different and pulls it off which the Lam definitely does.

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  7. I’ve got the Kam to try at the weekend and really looking forward to it – but I had the Southern Right 2009 that went down very well indeed:

    Plums and blackberries with a slight cola edge and maybe a touch of rubber. The weight is a little lighter than expected but still medium bodied with flavours of plums, dark cherries and blackberries. On top of that we find chocolate and just the merest hint of coffee. Good robust tannins that are edgy upfront but dissolve nicely and help give a decent structure and length. 8/10

  8. I chose the den 2012 from @paintedwolfwines this week, and being a complete pinotage novice, had no idea at all what to expect.
    First whiff was of slightly damp earth and I wasn’t sure, but this soon gave way to more inviting bramble/forest fruits and tart cherry aromas.
    The palate I’m really not sure about, but not in a bad way. It’s just that before you can even consider what it tastes like the acidity has taken over and left you gagging for another sip. Guess I’ll have to just keep on trying……..

    1. So on tonight’s offering if seems, and this is meant to be positive, pinotage as like the cherry cola alcopop of the wine world.
      I’ve given 7/10 but I’m certainly intrigued to try more of this grape and find out how vine age and bottle age etc effect it’s characteristics.

  9. This evening has been such an interesting Pinotage-off; in the blue corner we had the Tesco Finest 2013 at £5.99, reduced from £7.49, in the red corner we had the Lamershoek 2011 @ £12.99 from Roberson…

    At first I couldn’t believe that both of these wines were made from the same grape; the first impressions were so different. But the more I compared the more similarities came through… they were both really enjoyable and the question remained… Would I rather have one of the Lam or two of the Finest…

    Tesco Finest 2013

    Stewed plums and blackberries, touch of coffee and rubber. Fruits are brighter – still on the dark side – with good acidity and a slightly herbal, savoury note. Five spice with a real anise hit. Silky and smooth, a bit short on the finish, but very good. 7/10

    Lam 2011

    Ripe cherries at first but then a real schizophrenic blur of tart raspberries and autumn blackberries. Funky smells of rosemary and aniseed – lots going on but very reminiscent of cherryade – there’s a sweetness to the smell. Bright acidity with raspberry and red currants upfront then the darker, broody cherries come through. There’s star anise and some sweet spice on a very long and enjoyable finish. Not what I expected from Pinotage but I really, really like it. 9/10

    If you’re going to make me choose… I’ll take a bottle of Lam. However… If I’ve only got a tenner I’ll take the Finest and spend the rest on strawberry laces!

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