The dawning of a new age

A 1920s’ cross between Pinot Noir & Cinsaut (‘Hermitage’) Pinotage is now made in a range of styles, from the easy-going to age-worthy examples. A speciality of South Africa, the best wines exhibit deep colours, with earthy, spicy flavours of dark plum and blackberry, with a generous, savoury finish.

A grape that you either love or hate, this perception was probably created from an older style of Pinotage that was high octane in its nature! A more focused approach to viticulture and techniques in the cellar heralds a new age for Pinotage, where wines show greater balance and appeal.

With food, Pinotage works well with tomato-based pasta dishes, steaks, venison, duck, some curries and smoked-sausages.

Asda – Extra Special – 
Pinotage 2011 Western Cape - £6.98/£5 until 20/2/13 – An intense, rich, concentrated red, with well-judged, integrated oak. Lush and drinking really well now.

Morrison’s – The Best – Pinotage 2010 Coastal Region – £6.99 – Deep, dark-fruit and smoky nose. Succulent on the palate, with raspberry and red-cherry notes, nicely rounded and a fresh finish.

Sainsbury’s – Taste the Difference – Leap Point – Fairtrade – Pinotage 2012 Western Cape - £7.99 – Made from grapes growing on predominately old bush-
vines, there’s plenty of plum and red-fruits on the nose and palate.

This is juicy and ripe, with moderate tannins, a medium-body and decent length.

Beyerskloof – Pinotage 2011 Western Cape - £7.99 Majestic Wines – Powerful, yet shows restraint, loaded with a blackcurrant-like richness and balanced by ripe tannins and a lick of oak.

Ken Forrester – Petit Pinotage 2011 Western Cape - £8.45 Morrison’s - Aromas of spicy mulberries, plum and cherries, with smoky bacon in the background. Juicy and accessible.

Barista – Pinotage 2011 Western Cape - £8.74 Majestic Wines – Bold, coffee / mocha scents, dark-skinned plum and nuances of chocolate.

Full-bodied, smooth, with a spicy finish. Enjoy with game dishes and grilled red-meats.

Rhebokskloof – Pinotage 2010 Paarl – £10.25 Corney & Barrow (Newmarket) – There’s some complexity here – dried fruit, ripe prune, black-cherry, spicy oak and smart tannins, from an old established estate.