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Fairview Pinotage 2000

Pinotage from South Africa
    0% ABV
    • TP90
    • WS88
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Pinotage is mostly harvested from bush vines, some of which are over 25 years old. This is supplemented by a small amount of fruit from a younger trellised vineyard at Fairview. The vineyards are at three sites, Malmesbury and Agter Paarl with their dry farmed vineyards on deep red soils and the Paarl fruit grown on sandy soils.

    Vibrant purple red color with ripe, soft tannins and opulent fruit on the palate.

    Fairview Pinotage is made in a food friendly style. The wine is ideal for South African food, particularly braaied beef or boerwors. There are sufficient flavours in the wine for it to be a good partner with spicy, rich Cape dishes such as breedies. The wine is super with either Fairview Brie or Camembert, and preserved figs.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fairview

    Fairview

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    Fairview, South Africa
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    The home of Fairview wines is a 300 ha farm on the southwest-facing slopes of Paarl Mountain, a granite rock outcrop in the heart of the Paarl wine district, viticulturally among the most historic and influential areas of the Cape winelands. Winemaking on the farm can be traced back to 1699, not quite a half-century after the first European settlers arrived in southern Africa. But its wines entered the modern era with the first bottling under the Fairview label in 1974 by the Back family, owners since 1937.

    Today, some three decades later, grandson Charles Back II has brought Fairview wines to world markets. One of South Africa's pre-eminent vintners, he has earned Fairview (and its ancillary brands Spice Route, Goats Do Roam and Agostinelli) a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties. And he has helped pioneer a modern culture of wine growing in South Africa that embraces typicity of terroir, unrestricted by "estate" appellation, by both developing his own vineyards to their full potential and seeking out new viticultural sites to grow fruit for wines to please popular tastes and discerning palates. Charles Back's philosophy is that wine is an integral and joyful part of everyday life.

    South Africa

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    With an important wine renaissance is 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.

    Pinotage

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    A distinctively earthy and rustic variety, Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape. In 1925 viticulturists crossed finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, and created, surprisingly, a variety both darker and more tannic than either of its parents. Pinotage at first seemed nearly impossible to tame, with its bold profile and wild flavors but advances in viticultural and winemaking techniques have since helped to make Pinotage wines quite alluring. Today it 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.

    Perfect Pairings

    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 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. The somewhat less appealing “Herminoir” was also considered.

    ALL8764340_2000 Item# 60775