The other day i tried a bottle of the Fairview Pinotage 2009 from Paarl in South Africa and i must say it left me wondering why i don’t drink Pinotage very often. On the nose; smoke, blackcurrant and meatiness filled the glass. It was extremely vibrant on the palate with an abundance of ripe black fruits laced with vanilla and oak – a true pleasure to the taste buds.
So this got me thinking – i don’t really know much about Miss Pinotgae. The Pinotage grape came about it 1925 when it was breed from a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (during this time Cinsaut was known as Hermitage in SA, hence how the name Pinotage came about). It typically produces deep red wines with bramble, earthy and smokey notes. It has also been known to sometimes produce banana, tropical fruit and acetone notes. The latter is often the root of much criticism against this variety from experts.
New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Zimbabwe and the United States have also experimented with small plantings of Pinotage but to be honest, even in South Africa Pinotage is not as widely planted anymore (6.7% of the vineyard area) – it is fast becoming more of a blending component rather than anything else.
So thats the jist on Miss Pinotage – if anyone has tried a nice one recently, please leave a comment. I would be very interested to hear what Pinotage’s from the other countries are like in comparison to the SA born and breed ones.