Bellevue Estate Tumara Pinotage 2004 Front Label
Bellevue Estate Tumara Pinotage 2004 Front Label

Bellevue Estate Tumara Pinotage 2004

    750ML / 0% ABV
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    750ML / 0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    100% Pinotage, from the Bellevue Estate in Stellenbosch, the world's first commercial producer of Pinotage.

    Vanilla, coconut, plums, and raspberries on the nose, followed by layers of ripe, complex fruit on the palate. A big, well-balanced wine with a long, clean finish.

    Serve with duck, venison, Thai dishes, herb roasted chicken.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bellevue Estate

    Bellevue Estate

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    Bellevue Estate, South Africa
    Tumara wines are produced at the Bellevue Estate, which released the world's first commercial Pinotage in 1953. Now, the over-50-year-old vines continue to produce award-winning Pinotage for fourth-generation Proprietor/Cellar Master Dirkie Morkel. Approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Cape Town, Bellevue has been located in the Bottelary hills - the perfect place to produce world-class red wines since 1701. The estate's plantings are comprised of 190 hectares featuring over 14 grape varieties, mostly red, and include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Pinotage, and Petit Verdot.

    Prof A.I. Perold, known as the father of Pinotage, completed the development of this South African grape at Elsenburg. He made a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage to obtain the ultimate success he was looking for. Prof Perold apparently left no notes to explain his choice of cultivars, but legend would have it that he was attempting to combine the quality of Pinot Noir and the production capacity of Hermitage.

    In the early 1950s, P.K. Morkel was attempting to obtain Gamay to add to the Bellevue vineyards. Unable to find any, he approached the Stellenbosch Agricultural College at Elsenburg for advice on possible alternative varieties to plant. The new variety developed by Prof Perold was suggested. At that stage Pinotage had only been planted on a trial basis by Elsenburg.

    In 1953, P.K. Morkel took the bold step, along with Paul Sauer of Kanonkop, to plant this unknown variety on his farm. His boldness paid off, when in 1959 his wine from this almost unknown variety, Pinotage, took the General Smuts trophy, for the best wine at the Cape Wine Show.

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    With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

    Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

    South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

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    South Africa’s signature grape, Pinotage is a distinctively earthy and rustic variety. In 1924 viticulturists crossed finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, and created a variety both darker and bolder than either of its parents! Today it is popular in South Africa both as a single varietal wine and in Cape blends. Somm Secret—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.

    PIM002032_2004 Item# 92714

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