Lievland Pinotage 2018
Made in an elegant modern style, this Pinotage shows vibrant notes of cherry and raspberry, with a hint of cedar and vanilla from the oak aging. The palate has rich red fruit and the savoriness typical ofthe variety. 8% Grenache adds vibrance and complexity. 4% dry-farmed Syrah gives an elegant and fine tannin. A small (3% ) bit of old-vine Cinsault has been blended in to enhance the aromas and add freshness to the palate. The grapes for this wine were selected from 2 of our partners' finest vineyards. The Eenzaamheid (Solitude) farm provided roughly 65% ofthe blend. This is a 22-year-old bush-vine, dry-farmed vineyard. It is a windy site that ripens late and tends to give fruit with thick skins, good color, and a soft, rich, classic style. The Hoogstede (High Place) farm provided 35% ofthe blend. This is a cool site with decomposed granite soils and tends to be early ripening, making wine with more structure and freshness.
This wine can be enjoyed with traditional South African dishes such as roasted Karoo lamb or Springbok pie or even served slightly chilled with Cape Malay curried fish.
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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.
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.