Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2013

Still on a roll with new experiences, I recently had my first South African Pinotage.  Pinotage is a grape variety born and bred in South Africa that is the result of crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsault (also known as Hermitage).  While this varietal has evidently had an inglorious history due to high production with some lower quality results, it seems the Pinotage growers are determined to turn that around.

Winemaker:  Riebeek Cellars
Varietal:  Pinotage
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  Swartland, South Africa
Price: $8.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This SA red was more of a purple hue in the glass.  Light-bodied and with fairly high acidity, I thought the tannins were in the moderate range.  They were definitely present with a medium onset but not at all harsh.  Flavors I detected included plenty of woodiness, a solid core of raspberry, notes of black pepper, and a gently piquant cranberry on the long finish.  I liked this selection a lot.  I can see pairing this Pinotage with a good ham or game fowl.  I thought it was well balanced for the price with plenty of structure for some cellaring.  Even so, it was pretty darned enjoyable right now.

2 thoughts on “Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2013

    • It can be hard to overcome a bad reputation – especially if it may have been deserved at one time. As it was my first Pinotage, I had no preconceived notions. After this bottle, I’d be happy to try another. Will be looking on the shelves of my local stores. Suggestions?

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