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Pinotage

Learn about Pinotage — taste profile, popular regions and more …

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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.

Tasting Notes for Pinotage

Pinotage is a dry, red wine with an unmistakable bouquet. Common descriptors include tobacco, smoke, tar, bacon, licorice, hoisin sauce and the 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinotage

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.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinotage

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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  • MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2018
    Pinotage from South Africa
      3.9 29 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    • David & Nadia Pinotage 2018
      Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
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        Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      • Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2018
        Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
        • D92
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      • Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2018  Front Label
        Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2018
        Pinotage from South Africa
          3.8 15 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        • Braai Pinotage 2018  Front Label
          Braai Pinotage 2018
          Pinotage from South Africa
            3.8 39 Ratings
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          • Southern Right Pinotage 2018  Front Label
            Southern Right Pinotage 2018
            Pinotage from South Africa
            • TA91
            4.0 20 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $32.99
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          • Riebeek Cellars Kasteelberg Pinotage 2018  Front Label
            Riebeek Cellars Kasteelberg Pinotage 2018
            Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
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            • Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2018  Front Label
              Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2018
              Pinotage from South Africa
              • D90
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            • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2018  Front Label
              Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2018
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Beeslaar Pinotage 2018 Front Label
                Beeslaar Pinotage 2018
                Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                  Currently Unavailable $53.99
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                • Spier Signature Pinotage 2018
                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                    Currently Unavailable $8.99
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