Robertson Limited Release Phanto Ridge Pinotage 2010
Rich aroma of plum and ripe banana, chocolate, coffee and mocca with a lingering impression of chocolate and plum pudding. Soft, ripe tannins and well-integrated oak provide structure and a plushy textured mouth feel.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The today prosperous town of Robertson was named after Dr William Robertson, a Scottish minister who arrived in South Africa in 1822. Amongst his many congregations in this vast country was an area known as “Over Het Roode Zand”. When in 1852 the community established a town, they named it Robertson in recognition and appreciation of his many services.
During the late 19th century a worker community occupied the land where the Robertson Winery now stands. They built a stone church and their congregation was serviced by missionaries. When Robertson Winery was established in 1941, the small church was no longer in use and the winery acquired the building for its winemaking and cellaring operations. Today, the historic church still plays an important part in the maturation of our wines and features as the proud emblem on our labels.
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.