A distinctively earthy and rustic variety ...
A distinctively earthy and rustic variety, Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape. In 1924 viticulturists crossed finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, and created, surprisingly, a variety both darker and bolder than either of its parents. Today Pinotage is a popular South African export both as a single varietal wine and in Cape blends. It is grown very minimally outside of South Africa.
In the Glass
There is no mistaking the smell of Pinotage—common descriptors include tobacco, smoke, tar, bacon, licorice, hoisin sauce and dark fruits of plum and blackberry. The flavors are bold, and tannins are firm but ripe—in fact, many Pinotage wines bear more resemblance to Australian Shiraz than to Pinot Noir.
For a wine this powerful, food should be equally bold, and gets bonus points for mirroring Pinotage’s sweet and sour flavors. Classic smoky South African braai (barbecue) is the most obvious match, while grilled curry sausage, lamb biryani or richly spiced beef stew would be equally welcome.
The name “Pinotage” is a subtle portmanteau: The Pinot part is obvious, but the second half is a bit confusing. In the early 1900s, Cinsault was known in South Africa as “Hermitage”—hence Pinotage. The somewhat less appealing “Herminoir” was also considered.
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- Bordeaux Red Blends757
- Other Red Blends523
- Rhône Blends256
- Tuscan Blends54
- Cabernet Franc38
- Other Red Wine29
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Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2015Pinotage from South Africa
Kanonkop Pinotage 2017Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
Braai Pinotage 2018Pinotage from South Africa
Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2018Pinotage from South Africa
Beaumont Pinotage 2016Pinotage from South Africa
MAN Vintners Pinotage 2017Pinotage from South Africa