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BeyerskloofIt is really fun to taste the different Pinotages and to compare them with each other. This is hardly possible to this extent with other, more popular sorts of grape, since the offer of Pinotages is still (almost) manageable, because the vine - bred in Stellenbosch in 1924 - is actually only cultivated and pressed in South Africa. Thus, I (maybe) gradually succeed in gaining a very broad overview and to get to know at least one grape variety - in all its variations. Those who don't know Pinotage, or - like so many - have already drunk (or tasted) Pinotage, but "only none that really inspires me, even at the South Africa tasting of the Mitteldeutsches Weinforum there were more exciting wines than the one with Pinotage in it" (quote from T.H), will perhaps be bored if I often tread the nature trail through this grape variety. But I actually try to tell stories in my "Drunk", and the story around Pinotage - which, nota bene, I love to drink - is worth telling. Mainly because you can delve into it a bit, into the depths of the grape variety, the terroir, the taste, the DSC_7268 (verkleinert)Vinification, etc. This Pinotage in particular - from the Beyerskloof winery - is an object lesson for me on the subject of taste: it is the winery's "small Pinotage" (approx. 15 CHF), which usually hardly makes it into the "upper echelons" of the various wine pallets (incl. Platter) hardly comes into the "upper ranks" (90/100 and more points, with Platter 4.5 and more stars), but mostly "under it" must (around 87/100), while he top Pinotage of the winery (approx. 26 CHF) easily reaches the 90/100. The more expensive Pinotage is - undoubtedly - the more demanding (older vines, 14 months in barrel, etc.); but is it also the better? Is the more rustic little one not more Pinotage? Does Pinotage always have to be made the way it tastes majority-wise? Namely (almost) like many other grape varieties: "dense purple red. Intense aromas of blackberries and red fruits finely underlaid with the wood notes of the ageing..."? Or may (should, could) a Pinotage possibly also be described like this: with: "pepper, tar and fruit-juice-on-hot-baking-sheet notes" (in J.K.'s comment on one of my "drinks")? I admit - and I'm probably way off on this one taste-wise - I like the "little one" far better, even though I've tasted - in this vein - far better Pinotages. The 2011 Pinotage - as I have it in the glass now - has too little power, is too ambiguous, has a bit of everything, but it still doesn't form a clear taste picture. Friendly I am tempted to say, plain, simple, and friendly.