Last Wednesday the Absa Top 10 Pinotage 2018 list was announced. The list of wines (and the winemakers behind it) make great strides in continuously building the reputation of one of South Africa’s very own style of wines.
Pinotage has an odd reputation that continues to this day. The grape traces back to 1925 when the first Professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch, Abraham Perold, created Pinotage, which is a combination of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut.
Sometimes loved, and sometimes dissed in favour of more recognisable varieties, Pinotage had many growing pains when cultivation of the crop started.
But in 2018 there’s no denying that Pinotage in South Africa is exceptional, and it’s becoming a varietal worth investing in.
The Absa Top 10 Pinotage is annually a great barometer for which wines you should consider adding to your must-have list.
This year they include, in no particular order: Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2015, Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2017, Fairview Primo Pinotage 2016, Flagstone Writer’s Block Pinotage 2016, Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2014, Kanonkop Pinotage 2013, Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage 2016, Môreon The Widow Maker Pinotage 2015 and Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2014.
But the winner of this year’s best Pinotage went to Allée Bleue Black Series Old Vine Pinotage 2016.
It comes as no surprise. The Old Vine Pinotage 2016 stems from Piekenierskloof bush vine Pinotage planted in back in 1976. With such a terrific source, pressed grapes go straight to barrel where it’s matured for 16-months.
But it’s also berry-rich, ensuring a certain familiarity. Expect strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and plums with layers of chocolate and even a little aniseed.
At R350 a bottle, this is a wine you want to keep for up to seven year before enjoying the best Pinotage in South Africa in 2018.