DeWaal Top of the Hill Pinotage 2014 & Ina Paarman’s Whole Fillet of Beef over the Coals with Four Sauces – 24.04.2017

DeWaal Top of the Hill Pinotage 2014

The DeWaal Top of the Hill Pinotage 2014, is part of DeWaal Wines that is steeped in the tradition of Pinotage in South Africa.  The Estate has the oldest established Pinotage Vineyard in the winelands. The Top of the Hill Vineyard block was planted by Danie de Waal, father of the current owner, Pieter and his brother, Koffie (Coffee) de Waal, in 1950, sixty-seven years ago.  Although this wasn’t the first Pinotage vineyard to be planted, it is now the oldest in existence. At the time of planting, Pinotage, although created in the late 1920s, was only 9 years old as a wine.  A cousin of Danie and Koffie, CT de Waal, made the first Pinotage wine only in 1941 when there were sufficient grapes to make one barrel. CT de Waal was born in the Uiterwyk Manor House which is the jewel in the crown of the Estate.

An old pic of CT de Waal

Danie and Koffie planted the Pinotage on an open piece of land, at the top of a small hill next to a wild fig tree. The fig tree was planted by Danie de Waal as protection for workers against rain. What they didn’t know at the time and has been proven over and over in its lifetime, was that their choice of location was exactly what Pinotage requires, medium to poor soil, quite sandy and fairly deep with a clay layer as the base.

The Top of the Hill Vineyard with its lone fig tree, Simonsberg on the horizon

As it has aged, the Top of the Hill Vineyard has each year yielded fewer grapes, though with greater complexity and of higher quality than from younger vineyards. This vineyard has produced some fantastic wines – Top of the Hill Pinotage has been a Top 10 Pinotage Award winner 6 times!  It now produces only one ton per hectare – a total of 1 252 individually numbered bottles were produced of the 2014 vintage

The wine underwent the best of elevation in the cellar and spent 18 months 225-litre French oak barriques.

Pinotage in the harvester’s hands

It looks like
Bottled under natural cork closure in a Bordeaux shaped bottle.  Elegant DeWaal livery. In the glass, the wine is inky plum opaque which pales to a rich garnet at the rim.

It smells like
A generosity of black fruits, bramble, mulberries, blueberries, supported by the elegance of oak and its concomitant spices.

It tastes like
Beautifully bold. Wonderful fruit interwoven with good tannic structure and acidity which will support ageing up to 15 years from vintage.  A truly superb wine, a real privilege to drink a wine like this with, not only its history, but also the care taken in the cellar.

Ina Paarman’s Whole Fillet of Beef over the Coals with Four Sauces

It’s good with
This wine wants great food. The traditional Sunday Roast Lunch, hearty casseroles of game, ostrich, lamb or beef. Or lusty vegetarian main courses with aubergine, concentrated tomato, mushrooms and the umami flavours of Parmigiana Reggiano. Off the braai, Ina Paarman’s Whole Fillet of Beef over the Coals with Four Sauces is a great match.  Click here for her recipe.

Ina Paarman

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