Monday, April 10, 2006

Pouring Pinotage

First created in 1920s South Africa, Pinotage is the resultant cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The hope was to create a varietal that had the best characteristics of both grape types - classic elegant Pinot flavors married with the rugged Cinsault grape (spelt Cinsaut in the Cape). Initial results were patchy. It's only been in the last 10-15 years that the quality of Pinotage has improved and the wines have gained popularity from increased coverage in the international wine press.

As mentioned in my previous post, The Wine Company has an extensive array of wines from South Africa, and I was duly impressed by a bottle of Pinotage from Durbanville Hills that I chanced upon on a recent visit.

T-notes > Bright, ruby red. On the nose, distinct aromas of banana nut loaf and ash from a fine Cuban. Palate staining flavors incorporated fresh raspberries, fruit cake, cinnamon and clove. Really liked that the fruit tasted very clean, very cool, almost like you could taste/feel a fine, cool mist enveloping the vineyard. A very suave, persistent finish. My wife, T was really enjoying this, her only comment being simply, "Oishii ne". Ditto the sentiment.


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