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Diemed worthy

[diemersfontein]Diemersfontein “Reserve Collection” 2014 Pinotage (Wellington) — Not too much vinyl; more of an internationally-styled dark red, though the occasional peppery pinotage pong does come through. It’s a nice enough wine, though it needs flesh that’s been atop fire. (4/16)


Southern Right 2006 Pinotage (Walker Bay) – After a little age, the shiny plastic edge to the tannin (sometimes identified as rubber, which I can also see) is a little more prominent, spine-ing from the structure like a really gruesome injury. The rest, though, is progressing into a darker, angrier fruit stage that’s kinda interesting. I don’t know if this is made for the long haul or not, but I’m determined to find out. I don’t think it will convince dedicated pinotage haters, but it’s no more disjointed than many perfectly acceptable nebbiolos, for example. (12/10)

It’s an unfair kop

Kanonkop 1993 Pinotage (Stellenbosch) – Corked. Oddly, this is something no one (including me) realizes the night the wine’s first opened, though it’s apparent on day two, and completely obvious by day three. A shame. (4/09)

It’s a fair Kanonkop

[logo]Kanonkop 1989 Pinotage (South Africa) – The appellation seems to be as the bottle indicates, though of course under current law this would be from Stellenbosch. The cork is an absolute mess, takes an epic effort to remove in the tiny pieces into which it disintegrates, and by all rights should herald a damaged and prematurely decrepit bottle. But if so, there’s no sign of it in my glass. The wine looks much younger than it is, and tastes so as well, which makes me wonder if pinotage is the South African version of petite sirah…eternally youthful and forever consumed too soon. Quite heavily-fruited still, in the form of a baked fruit compote without distinct elements, though the first stirrings of maturity appear as old, time-burnished furniture and a loamy mushroom quality. Very soft, yet far from unstructured, and seemingly not yet mature by its mouth-filling headiness. Very impressive. (11/08)

Joan Wilderer? Joan Wilderer?

Wilderer Pinotage Grappa (Paarl) – Like wines made from the grape, a giant explosion of fruit. Kind of a doofus spirit, or perhaps it could more charitably be termed a beginner’s grappa, and yet it ends up being appealing despite its simplicity. (11/08)

There’s a Redhill over yonder

[vine]Simonsig 2001 “Redhill” Pinotage (Stellenbosch) – This is one of South Africa’s most decorated pinotages, but I can’t countenance the path it’s taken to get there. Oaky, with chocolate and slight volatility, followed by an intense explosion of synthetic berries. It probably needs even more years than it has already been given, but I just don’t think the balance is there; I believe the wood will always gloss over whatever qualities this wine might have had, and those qualities are already a little too shiny for my taste. In its style it’s well made, I suppose, but I don’t enjoy it very much. (11/08)

Right of way

Southern Right 2007 Pinotage (Walker Bay) – The usual black fruit explosion, but with a bit more varnish than usual; with “age” (he says, sarcastically) this wine’s varietal characteristics are coming to the fore. It’s still quite good, and better than most expressions of pinotage, but I guess there’s only so much lipstick one can apply. (10/08)

Northern left

Southern Right 2006 Pinotage (Walker Bay) – This remains, by far, my favorite pinotage, with a burst of varnished dark berries given good structure and a spicy/floral jig of minor complexity. It should age, but it’s hard to avoid when it’s so eminently drinkable right now. Lovers of delicacy should look elsewhere, but then they probably shouldn’t be drinking pinotage in the first place.(5/08)


[winemaker]Sizanani 2006 Pinotage (Bottelary) – Good, fruity aromatics, mixed chocolates, some drying paint. Spice, with a highly milky, lactic note, form the finish. Makeup has been applied, but the bad old pinotage characteristics remain. (2/08)

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