I have a very soft spot for Bellingham. The farm was bought in a fairly derelict state by Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk in the middle of the 20th century – and beautifully restored and the Estate became a pioneering winery as Bernard proceeded to produce a number of first, first estate bottled Shiraz, his wonderful Almeida Rosé and the Premier Grand Cru were legends in the 1970s and 80s.
The farm is in the foothills of the Groot Drakenstein Mountain at the entrance to the Franschhoek Valley. With The Homestead Series, Bellingham’s Winemaker Richard Duckitt continues the winery’s approach to excellence, innovation and quality winemaking through region-specific sourcing of grapes and showcasing the most interesting varietals South Africa has to offer.
October 13th is Pinotage Day, so perhaps a good time to celebrate the grape with The Bellingham Homestead Pinotage 2017, with grapes from the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation
Richard Duckitt says the 2017 vintage is one of the best he has had so far. “Everything worked in our favour. I rate it higher than 2015, possibly even as good as 2009. Certainly, the wines are a lot more accessible earlier than we’ve had for a long time.”
The mountainous Stellenbosch terrain and diversity of terroirs are key contributors to making this a premier Viticultural area with varied soil types.
Handpicked in the early morning, the grapes were destemmed and crushed and then cool fermented on the skins with the regular punch downs for colour and flavour extraction. Malolactic fermentation and maturation took place in French oak barrels before the wine was prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle under natural cork. Elegant label with an engraving of the Manor House. In the glass, a deep ruby at the core which pales out to garnet at the edges. The nose is all about Pinotage, plums, roadside brambles and oak and its concomitant spices. The oak is in good support of the generous fruit, cashmere clad tannins. Good long gently waning aftertaste.
This is a wine which will go with traditional South African dishes like Boerewors, Bobotie and a Lamb and Tomato Bredie. Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Biltong Sirloin with Blue Cheese Butter & Pickled Waterblommetjies is the perfect seasonal marriage with the Bellingham Homestead Pinotage 2017. Click here for her recipe.
Read more about Bellingham Wines – CLICK HERE