Dark crimson red colour. Aromas and flavours of mocha coffee, black chocolate and roasted nuts with undertones of caramelised banana and blackcurrant. A juicy finish.
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Whether the South Africans like it or not, Pinotage is South Africa‘s native grape. Like Frankenstein‘s monster, it was spawned by a scientist in a laboratory and subsequently reviled in the land that created it. The scientist was Professor A.I. Perold, who created it by crossing Cinsault and Pinot Noir in 1925; Cinsault was then known as Hermitage, hence Pinotage. His aim was to replicate the flavours of Pinot Noir but with Cinsault‘s compliance in the vineyard. The latter he achieved, but Pinotage‘s unique flavours have proved divisive ever since. Not recognisably like any European grape, this variety has risen and tumbled with the whims of fashion, but plantings have gradually increased to 6.7% of South Africa‘s total vineyard area. The best examples come from low-yielding, old vines. With careful handling in the winery, these can be powerfully fruity, dark, long lived with a distinctive smoky character; whereas poorly made wines can exhibit a coarse, paint-like aroma which has led to some doubting the grape‘s potential for quality. For these reasons the rest of the vinegrowing world has been cautious to adopt Pinotage.