#newwinethisweek week 8 – Pinotage, South Africa

Mike from www.pleasebringmemywine.com is certainly a risk taker… if last week’s Gewurztraminer wasn’t a controversial enough choice, then this week’s will be for sure… say hello to Pinotage from South Africa!


Pinotage is often referred to as South Africa’s signature red variety, although these days you are more likely to find Bordeaux and Rhone varieties adorning the South African labels on the supermarket shelves. Pinotage was “bred” in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut, which known as Hermitage at the time in SA hence the name Pinot-tage.

Good examples of Pinotage are earthy and smoky with bramble fruit and often a hint of coffee. But it’s the bad stuff that causes the fuss… bananas and tropical fruit in your red wine anyone? Haters of the grape will also cite aromas of paint and rusty nails… but don’t be put off!!

I am a big fan of good Pinotage – it is interesting and different. Sometimes the nose of the wine can make you think twice about taking a sip but please stick with it; there is lots to enjoy about this esoteric grape variety 

But I have one caveat. Coffee Pinotage. You’ll see it on the label; “coffee”, “espresso”… the only advice I will give you is to steer clear; if I want something that tastes like coffee and coffee alone I will have a mug of bloody coffee! Thank you; rant over.


So if I haven’t put you off, here are some recommendations for this week.


Tesco Finest Pinotage 2012, South Africa (Tesco £7.49)

M&S Houdamond Pinotage 2011, Stellenbosch, SA (M&S £9.49)

Southern Right Pinotage 2011, Hermanus, SA (Waitrose £13.49)

Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage 2012, Stellenbosch, SA (The Wine Society £10.49)

Lam Pinotage 2011, Swartland, SA (Roberson £13.95)


I’m looking forward to this one

So get yourself a bottle and don’t forget to give it a score and tell us what you think – this week’s vote will take place on Mike’s blog, where you will also find his recommendations from Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Majestic:



Cheers & enjoy!


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Posted on February 24, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This evening has been such an interesting Pinotage-off; in the blue corner we had the Tesco Finest 2013 at £5.99, reduced from £7.49, in the red corner we had the Lamershoek 2011 @ £12.99 from Roberson…

    At first I couldn’t believe that both of these wines were made from the same grape; the first impressions were so different. But the more I compared the more similarities came through… they were both really enjoyable and the question remained… Would I rather have one of the Lam or two of the Finest…

    Tesco Finest 2013

    Stewed plums and blackberries, touch of coffee and rubber. Fruits are brighter – still on the dark side – with good acidity and a slightly herbal, savoury note. Five spice with a real anise hit. Silky and smooth, a bit short on the finish, but very good. 7/10

    Lam 2011

    Ripe cherries at first but then a real schizophrenic blur of tart raspberries and autumn blackberries. Funky smells of rosemary and aniseed – lots going on but very reminiscent of cherryade – there’s a sweetness to the smell. Bright acidity with raspberry and red currants upfront then the darker, broody cherries come through. There’s star anise and some sweet spice on a very long and enjoyable finish. Not what I expected from Pinotage but I really, really like it. 9/10

    If you’re going to make me choose… I’ll take a bottle of Lam. However… If I’ve only got a tenner I’ll take the Finest and spend the rest on strawberry laces!

  1. Pingback: #newwinethisweek – Analysing 2014 and changes for 2015 | Confessions of a Wine Geek

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