Previously I tried a Pinotage that was from the Paarl region of South Africa. It was a very nice medium bodied wine with excellent aromatics, and was a great
glass of wine. My most recent Pinotage adventure was another great wine this time from Stellenbosch. This was the 2012 The Owl Post by Neethlingshof. It was quite different in style than other versions of Pinotage I’ve tried, and I found it to be a very well made wine which carried many great attributes. It is a great example of how versatile the Pinotage grape can be, as it can be vinified into many different styles and can exhibit an array of different characteristics.
About the Wine: An estate wine, The Owl Post is a single vineyard Pinotage. The wine is full-bodied, apprearing dark garnet red in color along with cedar and spice on the nose with aromas of oak, coffee and ripe red berries. It has a nicely balanced structure, that comes along with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and spicy raspberry followed up with a silky smooth finish. This is a finesse wine, with just the right amount of oak and is big and full flavored. I was very impressed with how the wine presented itself and this is definitely a wine that has great aging potential. The wine was priced at $25, which I think is a fair price for a very well made wine.
The Winery: Neethlingshof has a rich history in wine. Located in the Stellenbosch wine region, The farm was initially established in 1692, and originally called De Wolvendans, which means the Dance of Wolves. It was renamed Neethlingshof in 1828. The winery has a wide selection of wines, which includes the Short Story Collection, the Premium Red Collection, and Premium White Collection. The varietals range from reds such as Pinotage, Malbec and Merlot, along with whites such as Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, among many others.
The Region: Stellenbosch is a very well known and important wine region. It is home to the majority of South African wineries, and wine growing here dates back to the late 1600’s. There are several different soil types and variations in elevation that contribute to the region’s terroir. The region has a very good reputation, and there are a lot of exciting wines being produced here. There is also a wide variety of grapes planted, which include (among others) Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc.
I am looking forward to the next Pinotage I try, as well as more wines from Neethlingshof.
Pinotage is a unique grape that is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Pinotage was created in 1924 by. Dr. Abraham Izak Perold. Dr. Perold
was the first director of the Department of Viticulture & Enology at the University of Stellenbosh when he crossed the two varietals. His hope was that the grape would retain the great qualities of Pinot Noir and also have the heat tolerance of Cinsault. Most Pinotage wines are medium to full-bodied, and can be spicy and flavorful. The first wine made from Pinotage was made by the Welgevallen winery in 1941, and the grape gradually gained in popularity since then. The grape is grown is most growing regions in South Africa, the most being in Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Swartland. This 2011 by Nederburg is from the Paarl district.
About the Wine: The 2011 Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage is medium bodied, with spice and ripe cherry on the nose. It has a nice balanced structure, with smooth spicy raspberry on the palate along with some earth and minerality. The alcohol comes in at 14%, but it is very smooth on the finish. A very nicely made wine, it could pair with many occasions. For a price of $11, this is a very good buy.
The Winery: Nederburg was founded in 1791 in the Paarl district of the Western Cape. Nederburg has a rich history in Cape winemaking and is a very large and important producer. With several labels ( Heritage Heroes, II Centuries, and Winemaster’s Reserve to name a few), Nederburg produces high quality wines ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinotage, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc among others. A highly regarded late harvest wine is produced as well. Along with great wines, Nederburg hosts an annual wine auction, a concert series, and also has a restaurant.
The Region: Nederburg is located in the Paarl district, in the Western Cape. There is a variety of terrain, and most vineyards are planted on sandy, alluvial soils. Many vines are planted in the lower, warmer areas of the valleys, with some also being planted at cooler, higher elevations. The most planted varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc.
I have been enjoying Pinotage wines recently and I found this one to be quite good, and would recommend it for sure.