Pinotage is a South African created grape, a crossing of Pinot Noir and Hermitage [now known as Cinsaut] created by Professor Abraham Perold in the late 1920s. There is a fascinating story about ‘saving Pinotage’ which was told to me in the 1980s by Dr Charles Niehaus who took cuttings from 4 Pinotage vines in Perold’s garden. It is from these 4 cuttings that we now have Pinotage as the 6th most planted wine grape in South Africa – just over 7500 hectares. THe first Pinotage was made in South Africa by CT de Waal in 1942, Perold died months before the 1942 harvest.. The De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2017 [Almond Orchard] vineyards are planted on the slopes of the Tygerberg facing Table Mountain. Merely 7 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and its cold Benguela Current which come up from down south in the cold Atlantic waters. De Grendel is in the Durbanville Wine Appellation.
The grapes for the De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2017 were hand harvested before dawn and taken to the cellar for destemming and crushing. Founding winemaker Charles Hopkins and his team, then transferred to open top fermenters where the mash received pneumatic punch downs four times a day for gentle extraction of colour, flavours and soft tannins. After both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation were completed, the wine was taken to 225 litre oak barrels. The mix of barrels was 20% new French Oak and 10% new American oak, the balance was made up of a combination of second and third fill French and American Oak barrels. The wine was matured for 11 months before being prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a superior screw cap. The label is classic De Grendel, black with the family crest on it. In the glass, it is a deep bloodplum colour at the heart which pales out to a purple tinged ruby at the edges of the glass. The aromas which are followed by the palate are of cherries and roadside brambles. Sweet brown spices can be found and a beautiful application of oak and its concomitant vanilla and cedar. Pinotage and oak barrels work very well together, creating a mocha undertow. The palate is full, of medium weight and a long aftertaste bringing all the elements together in perfect harmony. The wine is still young and would like a couple of years of quiet cool cellaring to reward you fully later.
The De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2017 is a perfect food wine. Do chill it for about 530 minutes for added enjoyment. Ian Berg, the executive chef at the much awarded De Grendel Restaurant offers superb dishes to match the Estate’s Wines. Do visit the De Grendel Website to see what is on the current menu.
If you are far away, then I would recommend you try Nina Timm’s Pork Belly Kebabs. Click HERE for her recipe.
Nina Timm of MyEasyCooking
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Read more about De Grendel Wine Estate & Restaurant – CLICK HERE