Category Archives: South Africa

Spier 2009 Pinotage – Western Cape, South Africa

From the label: ‘Winemaking is an art. The signature wines of Spier, distinctive in their individuality and expression, are hallmarked by a strong sense of heritage, dating back to the planting of the first vineyards.’

Website: http://www.spier.co.za

Pinotage is the signature grape that is grown in South Africa. It’s a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Cinsaut was known as Hermitage in South Africa thus the name Pinotage). I had never heard of this grape variety until a visit to British Columbia to see friends. Knowing that I am a red wine person particularly one who likes Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon he advised me to try this South African wine that he had.

When I tried it I found the smell to be earthy with dark berries, vanilla and plum essences. The taste was harsh at first but once I allowed it to breathe and aerate for about an hour it mellowed out and I tasted a sweet, vanilla, medium-bodied wine. It had a long finish.

I did have another glass of this wine the next day and it was even more enjoyable due to the extra time it was given to breathe no doubt.

Overall I liked this wine once it aerated a bit. My first taste was harsh. This wine would do well to be aerated at least for an hour before drinking and could probably do well to aerate longer than that in my opinion.

I give this wine a score of 84. Well worth the try if only to broaden your horizons on the different types of grapes out there in the wine world.