So many wines, so little time. Last week, we tested Chris Forrest’s tasting abilities, to see how he places our line up of selected wines in a blind test of skill. Just for fun, we snuck in two Pinotage’s and a Cabernet Sauvignon just to confuse matters. If you missed the tasting, make sure to check out how he fared on camera here.
Speaking of Pinotage, some may or may not know that this grape has an interesting upbringing, which came to be right here on our South African soils. A chemistry doctor, Dr Abraham Izak Perold has an idea to cross the grape varietals Cinsault, a high yielding grape with the delicious but low yielding Pinot Noir grape. He ended up with 4 seeds which he planted in his garden and forgot about! Years later, the vines were moved to Elsenberg agricultural college and in 1941, lecturer CT De Waal made the first Pinotage was produced!
Enough of the history lesson and onto the wines. Ken Forrester has produced a very approachable Pinotage which suits every occasion. Chilly nights, some chops on the braai and this easy quaffer makes for a fun night with friends. Easy and not overly complicated it has character of mulberries, spice and plum pudding.
Sticking with Pinotage, next in the line up was Beyerskloof Pinotage produced by Mr Pinotage himself, Beyers Truter together with his team. Beyers has a devotion to improving Pinotage in South Africa and formed the Pinotage Association. Beyerskloof produces South Africa’s most popular Pinotage and is made to be enjoyed now. With its red berry and plum flavours expect a medium bodied wine with a fresh finish. Again quite an easy drinker, and give it a try with a meaty pizza or sirloin steak!
One of my favourite wineries to come our of Stellenbosch is the iconic Rustenberg. Founded in 1682, these guys have a long legacy of making fine wines. Stellenbosch is renowned for making super Cabernet Sauvignon, and this estate does not disappoint. Dark berries and hints of tobacco engulf the senses and would be best enjoyed with a beautifully matured steak. If you have the patience and will power to hang on to this wine for a bit, it has great ageing potential in good cellaring conditions.
The episode can be viewed here.