RESERVE PINOTAGE 2009 DRAKENSKLOOF SOUTH AFRICA
My first time with Pinotage, South Africa’s signature grape. I think I discovered a favorite varietal to add to the list. Better yet my first favorable discovery of 2012! This cross between French grapes Cinsault and Pinot Noir may be the perfect solution to those who may find todays popular Zinfandel too much of a sweet fruit bomb. Its reserved power is impressive.
I think this wine had me at decanting….Is it possible a wine can make you feel warm and cozy? In 80 degree weather? A little bizarre I realize but that was my first reaction and note on this wine as I decanted and took in the aromas. “Warm and cozy” not fruit, oak, terroir, acidity but comfort. Never having had a Pinotage before this can almost only be described as attraction at first sight. I was not attracted to the bottle or the label The name was somewhat exotic, its newness drew me but what was inside had me at first sniff.
Attained through the Wall Street Journals Wine Club but available through other sources on-line, this wine retails for $16.99. Deep dark garnet red, light in viscosity, dark fruit and the distant scent of wood move forward at decanting. This wine has incredible legs that just dangle artfully on your glass. At 30+ minutes post decanting the taste and nose expands to become more peppery and woody with tobacco, leather, plum and yes, even ripening banana on the palate.
I am looking forward to the continuation of this relationship. Hopefully my future experiences with Pinotage will be as exciting as my first. As my wine loving friend of almost 30 years just happened to mention to me “it’s the romantic and passionate side of wine tasting that is the most important part”. Like a good friendship; this is one varietal I look forward to revisiting over and over.
- Pinotage Wine Guide Launched (pinotage.org)
- The Wines of South Africa (winebookclub.org)
- Is Good Pinotage Atypical? (pinotage.org)